The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has called on Parliament to apologise to the nation that blighted the election of its Speaker on Thursday, January 7, 2021. The Commission says it will be in the best interest of Parliament to do. The Commission this known in a press statement issued on Monday, January 11, 2021, signed its chairperson, Josephine Nkrumah.
“The NCCE urges Parliament to purge itself from this blemish by rending an unqualified apology to Ghanaians and take steps to investigate why the military was deployed to invade the chamber,” the statement said. Meanwhile, it has also described what happened in the chamber as “detestable and disgraceful.”
“The unnecessary drama that characterized the proceeding of the inauguration of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic is unconstitutional, disgraceful, detestable and smacks of indiscipline.” The Commission, however, called for sanctions to given to all who played a role in what ensued on the day. “The Commission urges Parliament to apply sanctions appropriately to serves as to others and electorate generally.”
What happened in Parliament?
A scuffle between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs over the voting processes for the election of a new Speaker marred the onset of a new Parliament.
The Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah also did the unexpected by snatching uncounted ballot papers in the Speaker of Parliament elections and attempted to bolt with it. He was chased down by some NDC MPs, including the NDC Caucus’ Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
Calls for probe
The Parliamentary Service has expressed regret over the incident but has not indicated if there will be a probe. “Parliament would, however, like to put them behind it and work towards a more focused, unified membership aimed at promoting the best Parliamentary practices and good governance,” it said in a statement.
Former President John Mahama called for an investigation into the various incidents “and exact appropriate sanctions.” The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) also called for sanctions against persons who caused the military invasion of Parliament.
A security analyst, Adam Bonah, stressed that these calls were in the national interest. “The calls for investigations into that are legitimate and shouldn’t only be NDC’s call but a national call for all of us to bring an end to it.”