Minority boycotts swearing-in of new Ayawaso West Wuogon MP

Lydia Seyram Alhassan

Lydia Seyram Alhassan

THE Minority caucus in Parliament yesterday boycotted the swearing-in of Lydia Seyram Alhassan as the newly elected legislator for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, arguing that the poll was “a sham.”

The Minority, led by Haruna Iddrisu, briefing journalists in Parliament last Friday said his side of the House would not accept the outcome of the January 31 by-election.

Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan polled 12,041 out of the 17,501 valid votes cast to emerge winner of the polls which was characterised by violence.

The violence perpetrated by mask-wearing heavily armed men, said to be National Security operatives, forced the National Democratic Congress to pull out few hours into the contest.

Describing the poll as a “blot on the conscience of our democratic evolution,” in that Friday briefing,  Haruna Iddrisu said: “We are therefore unable to accept the outcome of the election as one which was credible, free and fair.

“The violence associated with the election, in our strongest view, cannot produce a Member of Parliament unless that member wants to become a product of violence.”

True to their words, the Minority deserted the House after stressing their misgivings regarding the poll which recorded less than 20 per cent turn-out of a voting population of over 80,000.

Immediately the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu, who was presiding over proceedings, introduced Ghana’s newest Member of Parliament, Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak, said they could not be part of the exercise.

“Unfortunately, in support of our comrades and citizens that were unnecessarily hurt and brutally assaulted, I am sorry to say that we (the Minority) have all resolved that our side of the House cannot be here to witness this swearing-in,” he said to cheers from his colleagues as they walked out.

But the Deputy Majority Leader, Sarah Adwoa Safo, said her side was not perturbed by the walkout.

In her view, the Dome-Kwabenya MP said the decision by the Minority would be a bad precedent to the democracy of the country.

“We will continue as usual, Mr Speaker, because all constitutional requirements have been satisfied by this House, and by the Electoral Commission,” she said.

The walkout, however, did not stop the swearing-in of Madam Alhassan who took the seat of her late husband, Emmanuel Kyeremanten Agyarko, who died November 21, 2018.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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