The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bawku Central in the Upper East Region, Mahama Ayariga, has insisted that his party’s actions in Parliament on January 7 was the sign of a commitment and dedication to democracy which helped protect the sanctity of the legislature.
“The NDC MPs gallantry, bravery, commitment, dedication to our democracy, protection of the sanctity of parliament and our ability to resist is what should be commended because that allowed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lawmakers to cast their ballots in secrecy during the vote for a new Speaker,” he stressed.
But Osei Bonsu Amoah, the MP for Akuapem South in the Eastern Region, rejected Mr Ayariga’s assertion bemoaning the rowdy manner in which some members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) conducted themselves during the session.
The issue of secret ballots was at the center of the now controversial vote that produced former lawmaker, Alban Bagbin, as Speaker which reports stated he received 138 votes – meaning he got a vote from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) – because both parties have 137 MPs in the 275 seated chamber with the sole outsider being the MP for Fomena in the Ashanti Region, who is an independent candidate.
The NPP has, however, officially disputed the report that Mr Bagbin won the vote outright since the Deputy Chief Whip, Habib Iddrisu said Mr Bagbin and former Speaker of Parliament Mike Oquaye had polled 136 votes apiece with one spoilt ballot.
“When the leadership met, we countered the votes and it was 136, there was one spoilt ballot which the NDC alleged that the two missing ballot papers were chewed by Carlos Ahenkorah, the MP for Tema West in the Greater Accra Region so we decided to confer it on Mr Bagbin,” Mr Iddrisu disclosed. –ghanaweb.com