New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament clad in white arrived in Parliament as early as 4am to occupy the Majority side of House ahead of the first sitting of the 8th Parliament. This is approximately six hours before the regular sitting of the House. There were over 70 NPP MPs in the chamber by 8:30 am.
The action by the NPP MPs follows the take over of their seat by their National Democratic Congress (NDC) colleagues on the eve of January 7, ahead of the inauguration of the 8th Parliament. Clad in white, the then Minority had arrived in Parliament hours before sitting to take over the right hand side of Parliament.
The situation left the members of the governing party in shock when they arrived in the House. The question of who occupies the Majority side of the House has been a big issue since both the NPP and opposition NDC have 137 members each. Since the inauguration of the House, members of the two caucuses in Parliament have taken to social media and other news outlets to insist on their claims of who has a right to be called the majority.
Leading the argument for the NPP, the leader of its caucus, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the decision by the only independent candidate in the House to join the NPP, is a clear indication that they are in the majority. But the NDC MPs have rubbished this argument.
The leader of their caucus, Haruna Iddrisu says the Fomena MP choosing to join the NPP does not influence the numbers. He explained that his caucus will only agree to sit at the left-hand side of the Speaker if the NPP agrees to respect their number and influence. Meanwhile, Speaker Alban Bagbin who is himself a member of the NDC is expected to put the case to rest during the first sitting of the House today.