Prosecute MPs who snatched ballot box during election of speaker – Asare

A United States-based Ghanaian lawyer, Professor Kwaku Asare has called for the prosecution of all the Members of Parliament (MPs) who tampered with the process to elect a speaker for the 8th Parliament.

He stated that snatching or kicking ballot boxes is a criminal act that requires investigations and prosecution.

Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Ahenkorah was captured on tape interfering with the voting process. He alleged that there were too many irregularities in the election process and also accused some of his colleagues from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) side of interfering with the process.

“The irregularities accompanying the voting from the start were too many which had compromised the voting so much so that I wanted to create a situation for a rerun.

“Just as my colleague from the other side took the ballot box away on 3 occasions, I also grabbed a few ballot papers before they could be counted so as to force a rerun.

“It’s a very tough situation to have opposition as speaker especially when he’s the president in the absence of Nana Addo and his vice not to mention how parliament would function by passing the president’s policies and laws to pave way for development,” he said.

He however, apologised for his action.

“I did it for the grassroots who relied on us in power to survive, the president who needs some peace to run the country and the greater NPP party as a whole because we cannot always allow the ndc to threaten and vilify us. I apologise though to my family and friends both far and near who may be affected by my actions,” he said.

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Military men stormed the chamber following stalemate between MPs-elect for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) sides while they were electing a new Speaker of the House.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 on Saturday January 9, Professor Asare said “…Then there is snatching of the ballot box, that is criminal that should be investigated and anyone who took part in attacking the ballot box, snatching the ballot box  or otherwise interfering with  the balloting process  should be prosecuted .

“Parliament has its own security services, they have their own ways of controlling parliament because there is always  the potential  of chaos to erupt in parliament.”

Regarding the involvement of the military, he stated that “Soldiers are only supposed to take orders from other soldiers who are in a position to give them the order. 

“So, who was the military official  who gave them an order to go to parliament? If it was a civilian who gave them the order then we have a big infraction because the Commander-In-Chief himself does not order the soldiers directly.

“The Commander-In-Chief calls the Armed Forces people , he gives an order to the Generals and the Generals  then issue the order. So that chain of command should followed at all times, and it was not followed.

“Many people have not lived in a military era before  so they tend to forget how bad living under the military was.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana