PRESS STATEMENT FROM CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN ELECTION PROGRAMMING - 7TH JANUARY 2021
Today, 7th January 2021, Ghanaians are waking up to video recordings and media reportage of the appalling scenes in the Parliament of Ghana that characterized the sacred and solemn process of electing a Speaker of Parliament and swearing of Members of
The scenes witnessed by Ghanaians, and played out before the international community, betrayed our political leaders’ proclamations, and expressed commitments, to democratic principles, the rule of law and the pursuit of the public interest. At the height of the disorder that ensued, first the Police were called in, and then Military officers were invited in to restore order. The presence of Military in the Chamber of Parliament was an extremely low point in the proceedings of Parliament. It reflects a recent pattern of excessive use of the Armed forces to deal with civilian matters. As a nation, we must quickly move away from this developing pattern as we move forward. Also, for a temporary period, the unruly antics of Members of Parliament Elect threatened to prolong a dangerous constitutional and governance situation, where there was no Parliament and no President to govern the country. We condemn in no uncertain terms, the snatching of the ballot box and expect the perpetrators of this act to be disciplined by the House.
Fortunately, the political leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have managed to find a compromise, leading to the election of Alban Bagbin as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic; Joseph Osei Owusu as 1st Deputy Speaker, and Andrew Asiamah Amoako as 2nd Deputy Speaker. The resolution achieved by the two political parties confirms that the only way the 8th Parliament can succeed is by the two sides working together in a spirit of compromise, consensus-building, and accommodation, in the service of all Ghanaians, and in pursuit of development for the country.
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