Parliament’s day of shame

Ghanaians on Thursday witnessed, perhaps, one of the most chaotic and drama-filled election of the Speaker of Parliament since the beginning of the country’s democratic journey.

Many Ghanaians have since expressed various views about the spectacle that unfolded in the chamber when lawmakers assembled to choose the Speaker for the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

Parliamentarians on both sides of the house, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), split in the middle in terms of parliamentary seats, engaged in fisticuffs, insults, heckling and worse of it, ballot snatching.

All these happened because of misunderstanding that erupted among the two parties on procedures that should be adopted for the election of the speaker.

The Ghanaian Times, just like many Ghanaians, is dumfounded because what we witnessed on Thursday dawn has never happened in the annals of our democracy.

We only see similar things in other countries and least expected that such would unfold right in our faces. It is shameful!

In fact, many of the Members of Parliaments (MPs) admit that it was unfortunate that our democracy should display such misbehaviour in the full glare of the people who voted for them to go the house.

We do not know  how they are going to  repair the damage they have caused  to their image, but  we wish that they will reflect seriously  on their conduct  and chart  a new course in order  to repair  the damage they have inflicted  on Parliament.

 Now that a new Speaker has  been elected and leaders have been appointed , it is time for a serious introspection  as well as consensus  building  to ensure that the 8thParliament of the 4thRepublic  lives up to expectation.

 We are aware that the composition of the parliament itself poses a challenge as each party has 137 members and therefore activities in the house must be based on censuses most of the time.

It will be ideal for the MPs to work closely and in a manner that will bring development to the people.

It is our hope that going forward, the MPs will not repeat what happened from Wednesday night into the morning of yesterday, but rather work in harmony throughout the life of the 8thParliament.

We cannot end this editorial without talking about the military invasion of Parliament in an attempt to stop the chaos in the house.

 Without doubt, the presence of the military in the house was unlawful and undemocratic. There cannot be any justification for the presence of the military in the house which is governed by its own rules and regulations.

Those who pushed the military to Parliament must bow their heads in shame for dragging them into parliamentary issues, because it was clear.

They realised immediately that they had achieved nothing but added to the embarrassment that we were put through by the bahaviour of the MPs.

Never again should this happen in our parliament.

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