Soldiers Invade Parliament As NDC, NPP Fight Over Majority Slot

Soldiers Invade Parliament As NDC, NPP Fight Over Majority Slot

Scores of armed soldiers invaded Ghana’s Parliament as the two main parties – National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – jostled for the majority status of the Eighth Parliament since either side has 137 MPs.

In the midst of the power struggle, the ballot box for voting for a new Speaker was snatched by Asawase MP-elect Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka, on Thursday, 7 January 2021.

The NDC side raised concerns about the sanctity of the ballot since, according to the party’s side, the NPP MPs-elect were displaying their ballots – meant to the secret – to their leadership.

An infuriated Muntaka Mubarak then snatched the ballot box, thus, bringing the voting process for a new Speaker to an abrupt stalemate.

The NDC MPs-elect also rejected a decision by the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, to stop Assin North MP-elect, Mr James Gyakye Quayson, from taking part in the election of a Speaker.

A court has put an injunction on Mr Quayson’s swearing-in over issues concerning his dual citizenship.

Ghana’s laws do not permit a holder of dual citizenship to occupy the seat of Parliament.

Mr Quayson, despite the injunction, showed up in Parliament to take part in the voting process for a Speaker.

The NDC side insisted Mr Quayson had not been served any such court injunction, thus, cannot be prevented from being sworn in and taking part in the election of a Speaker.

However, the Clerk said: “I was duly served, and I am, therefore, unable to recognise James Quayson as MP-elect for the purposes of the election of Speaker. I will, therefore, accordingly proceed in the conduct of this election”.

The Clerk added: “I have spoken to the MP-elect and I have duly informed both leaders. He can decide to vote and bear the consequences thereof”.

As part of the struggle for dominance in the Eighth Parliament, the NDC MPs-elect also occupied the majority side of the House, which generated further chaos in the chamber.

Source:cmonline

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