Events that unfolded prior to and during the election of a Speaker for the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic will go down in history as one of the most dramatic in the annals of the country’s political history.
What was anticipated to be a smooth process turned out to be a marathon of chaotic scenes, gesticulations, and shocking acts inconsistent with the character of Members of Parliament.
Even though heckling and other parliamentary jargons were expected, no one ever envisaged the kicking of ballot boxes, snatching of ballot papers and other 'unparliamentary' behaviour.
Currently, the 8th Parliament has no majority or minority since both NDC and NPP have 137 seats each.
An all-white NDC side
It all started when an all-white dressed NDC side came to the chambers earlier than usual and occupied the majority side in Parliament forcing the NPP MPs to sit at the minority side prior to the dissolution of the 7th Parliament.
This generated into a verbal altercation as some NPP members did not agree to the 'change'; one of them, Ursula Owusu decided to sit on Kwabena Mintah Akandoh for occupying her seat. Others tried to convince the NDC side to go back to their original side but to no avail. Eventually, calm was restored but it was short-lived.
Assin North MP's 'illegal' presence
Another standoff reared its ugly head over the presence of Assin North MP, James Quayson in Parliament.
Hon Quayson was in the House despite a court injunction.
Both sides had a go at each other over the legalities of his presence and whether the court rightly served Parliament.
In the end, the Clerk of Parliament who was the chairman until a new speaker was sworn in and who had a tough time controlling the MPs, ruled that the Assin North MP can take part in the election and bear the consequences later.
Anti-Climax of Chaos
The election of the Speaker was the anti-climax of the chaotic scenes. It was a period of near brawls, shoving of a parliamentary official, and so on. MPs-elect could be seen bringing down the voting booths and kicking the ballot box all in protest of the fact that the secret ballot rule was violated.
History was made
The chaotic moment led to the arrival of soldiers.
As a war movie, fierce-looking military officers, armed to the teeth, were seen marching into the chambers aggravating the already tensed atmosphere. This has been described as historic because it is new under the 4th Republic. Until now, no one knows who gave the orders for the soldiers to come into the chambers with the aim of restoring order.
The NDC side started pushing them away; shouting 'away' and chanting patriotic songs including the National anthem.
Eventually, the military personnel went away and calm was gradually restored; again temporarily.
'Dark' icing on the cake
As we thought everything had ended and the winner of the election was about to be declared, there was an 'icing on the cake', this time a dark icing.
The Member of Parliament for Tema constituency, Carlos Ahenkorah decided to snatch the ballot papers; he has been trending since.
He was however fiercely chased as he fled the chambers but like Usain Bolt, Member of Parliament for Asawase constituency, Muntaka Mubarak caught up with him, gave him some beatings and retrieved the ballot papers.
The Storm is over
As the saying goes; no storm lasts forever; there came light at the end of the tunnel and Alban Sumana Bagbin was declared Speaker of the 8th Parliament.
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