There is total chaos in Ghana’s Parliament leading to the invasion of military personnel in the chamber.This follows a stand-off between the Members of Parliament on both sides of the political divide- the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party, with regard to disagreements over a secret ballot being conducted by the Clerk of Parliament for the selection of a Speaker for the 8th Parliament.
The voting process was truncated several times over the deadlock as several efforts by the Marshals of Parliament and the Police to have the process take-off smoothly failed.
The NDC Caucus had raised concerns over the sanctity of the process as members of the NPP Caucus displayed their ballots to their leaders before casting them.The voting exercise was for the selection of either Prof. Mike Oquaye or Alban S.K. Bagbin for the Speaker of Parliament position
While he NPP nominated Prof. Oquaye for the position, the NDC proposed Mr. Bagbin to vie for the slot.I
Article 104 (4) of the 1992 Constitution and Standing Order 9 (1) of Parliament demands that the election of the Speaker shall be done by secret ballot.
The confusion started when the Clerk of Parliament, Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, barred the NDC MP-elect for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson from taking part in the election process following an injunction slapped on the legislator.
This decision did not go down well with the NDC MPs who accused the Clerk of being bias.
They insisted that because the MP-elect had not been served with the injunction documents, the Clerk should have allowed him to take part in the voting process; a request that was turned down after a heated debate.