Ghana's 8th Parliament: A divided house of boxers, humour, and disorder

Ghana's 8th Parliament: A divided house of boxers, humour, and disorder

The very first year of the eighth parliament of the fourth republic can be described as such an eventful year for all Ghanaians.

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The various parliamentarians representing the various constituencies across the country would attest to the same.

Just to start off the year, newly elected parliamentarians were present in parliament to elect the Speaker of Parliament as per the constitution of Ghana.

Events in Ghana's 8th Parliament: A divided house of boxers, humour, and disorder
A collage of the events of Ghana's 8th parliament in its first year Photo credit:
Source: UGC

Election of Speaker

Members of parliament of the opposition, National Democratic Congres. NDC was spotted in parliament in all-white attires as if to say their candidate had already been elected to fill that position.

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The election of the speaker of parliament is clearly an open secret in Ghana, as legislators were spotted fighting each other on the floor of parliament during the balloting.

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As ballots were being counted, the member of parliament for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah was captured snatching a ballot paper and bolting away with it.

The actions of the honorable member of the house got a lot of Ghanaians talking, as they did not expect such an occurrence from a man of his social standing. Many described him as a tout.

In all of these, memories were captured in photographs – the funny, the dramatic, the happy and sad memories, even the bizarre ones.

The showdown started on the eve of the inauguration of the 8th parliament led to such a messy fight as Muntaka Mubarak was seen going in hard on Ahenkorah for his wrong act.

Military Invasion

In a bid to ensure sanity on the floor of the house, armed military men were spotted on the floor of the house to bring the situation under control.

As to how these soldiers moved into the house, no one knows who gave the order for them to appear.

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The appearance of the military on the floor of parliament made a lot of people question the democracy we were claimed to be practicing.

MP for Ningo Prampram talked at length about why the mere appearance of the military in parliament was not acceptable.

Bagbin wins parliament election

After all the brouhaha, the Ballots were counted and the incumbent, Professor Mike Ocquaye lost to the then longest-serving member of the house, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin.

It was rumored that Both Adwoa Safo and the Fomena MP voted against Ocquaye because of their personal rifts with him.

As to how true that rumor was, could not verify.

Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin was then sworn in as the speaker of the 8th parliament of the fourth republic.

Joseph Osei Owusu was sworn in as the First Deputy Speaker and Andrew Amoako Asiamah, the Fomena MP who stood and won the seat as an independent candidate after being ousted from the NPP, was made the Second Deputy Speaker.

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Ursula Owusu and Mintah Akandoh

All this while, the opposition NDC, had occupied the majority side in parliament claiming they had the majority number in parliament at the time.

This forced members of parliament for the Ablekuma West Constituency to forcefully sit on the laps of Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, claiming he was seated in her spot.

The events of the first day of all the parliamentarians under one roof clearly gave Ghanaians a teaser of how the first year was going to look.

Members of parliament have over the year had very hot debates on the floor of the house with regards to policies, bills, and budget.

Ablakwa and Akufo-Addo luxurious private jet

One of the very topical issues that came up on the floor of the house was the money president Akufo-Addo was spending on his trips abroad.

According to North Tongu MP, who came bearing evidence of his allegation, Akufo-Addo rented for himself, a luxurious private jet while the presidential jet was left for other African leaders to use.

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In defense, the minister of defense, Dominic Nitiwul, said the presidential falcon was not fit for purpose at it would require refueling at every stop.

He also stated that the president could not take his bath on the flight if he used the presidential falcon.

The National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaah later said it was wrong for Ablakwa to publicise the travels of the president as his travels were considered top-secret.

Keta Tidal Waves

Another issue that got parliamentarians looking bad in the eyes of Ghanaians was when the member of parliament for Effutu, Alfred Afenyo-Markin brought up a picture depicting sand winning in Keta.

According to him, the people of Keta were responsible for the Tidal waves incident that affect most of them, making them lose their valuable items.

Unfortunately, the picture was one that was picked on the internet and did not depict the situation in Keta.

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This led to a confrontation between South Dayi MP, Rockson Dafeamekpor, and Nhyiaeso MP, fighting over the authenticity of the picture.

Afenyo-Markin later apologised for his mistakes

Adwoa Safo being impersonated

The member of parliament was accused of having someone impersonate her during the voting to pass the budget.

Pictures were brought up comparing how differents the person who appeared in parliament as her look different from her real self.

According to her accusers, she came to parliament the next day looking entirely different from the person they saw in parliament the previous day.

She however insisted that she was present on the floor of the house and had no one impersonating her

Fight over E-levy voting

The last ents of the year that drew a lot of attention to parliament again were the fight that broke out again on the floor of the house during another voting period.

This time around, legislators were expected to vote on the e-levy for it to be passed as a bill for the budget to be approved.

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On Monday night, December 20, 2021, legislators turned the floor of parliament into a boxing ring as they fought each other during voting to consider the new e-levy proposed by the government.

The misunderstanding ensued when the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, who was presiding over proceedings, decided to vacate his seat momentarily to enable him to join in the headcount voting in the capacity as the MP for Bekwai.

Joe Wise had wanted to yield his seat to the second deputy speaker, Andrew Asiamah, who happens to be an independent MP for Fomena, in order to be counted and thereafter return to resume his seat.

Despite all these misunderstandings and bizarre moments that were witnessed in the first year of the 8th parliament, it is fair to say the various members of parliament ought to do better.

The leadership of the house has to put structures in place to ensure that the fights, arguments, and avoidable misunderstandings are not repeated in the coming year.

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