The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has called for an independent probe into the incidents that marred the inauguration of the 8th Parliament.
It wants such a probe because it “does not expect Parliament to conduct an impartial investigation, so it must appoint an independent body to conduct the investigation into its misconduct.”
“The investigation should further address the issue of the deployment of heavily armed military men into the Chamber of Parliament. AFAG would want to know who sanctioned this deployment and for what purpose,” AFAG added in a statement.
It wants the probe to also “recommend the appropriate sanctions for all actors.”
“The sanction should be in line with the standing orders of Parliament and the laws of the land,” it said.
The incidents AFAG highlights in its statement include what it calls the assault on Ursula Owusu-Ekuful when she was pushed from a chair, the snatching of ballot papers by Carlos Ahenkorah, the kicking of a voting booth by John Jinapor and what it calls the “unruly behaviour of Muntaka and others.”
Most of the chaos in Parliament stemmed from a stand-off between the National Democratic Congress MPs and the New Patriotic Party MPs over the voting processes for the election of a new Speaker.
The NDC insisted on a secret ballot per law in the belief that there were some NPP MPs planning to vote for its candidate.
For hours, scuffles broke out, led by the NDC Caucus’ Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, who tried to make sure his opposing Whip was not cross-checking the ballots of NPP MPs.
At a point when the NDC MPs were unhappy with the process, they ransacked the voting areas and snatched the ballot box.
Armed military and police personnel then stormed Ghana’s Parliament to confront the NDC MPs.
Find below the full statement from AFAG
PROBE MISCONDUCT OF PARLIAMENTARIANS
The complete breakdown of law and order which resulted in several hours of chaotic scenes during the swearing-in of MP’s elect and the election of speaker for the 8th parliament is possibly the worst incident in the Chamber of Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
Footage from the overnight confrontation showed numerous pockets of free-for-all brawls between NPP and NDC members which disrupted the night-long program.
AFAG calls for an immediate independent investigation into the incidents of the night;
– Assault on a female MP who was forcefully shoved off the chair
– Snatching and chewing of ballot papers by Hon. Carlos Ahinkrah
– Kicking of ballot box and polling booths by Hon. John Jinapor
– Unruly behaviour of Hon. Muntaka and others
AFAG does not expect Parliament to conduct an impartial investigation, so it must appoint an independent body to conduct the investigation into its misconduct. The investigation should further address the issue of the deployment of heavily armed military men into the Chamber of Parliament. AFAG would want to know who sanctioned this deployment and for what purpose.
The investigation should recommend the appropriate sanctions for all actors. The sanction should be in line with the standing orders of Parliament and the laws of the land. The honour and dignity of Parliament is at stake.