Just when the MPs-elect were about to start casting their ballots to elect a Speaker for the inauguration of the 8th Parliament, Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka and John Abdulai Jinapor were seen rushing to where the voting booth and ballot box were and removing it from its place.
The Marshall of Parliament was able to lift the ballot box to safety. However, Jinapor, the Yapei-Kusawgu MP-elect kicked the paper-box voting booth, thereby disassembling it.
Jinapor’s action was in protest at how some NPP MPs were breaching the ‘secret ballot’ protocol.
It was total chaos partly blamed on Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah, the Clerk to Parliament who had little to no control over affairs.
The Clerk had earlier ruled: “I was duly served and therefore, I do not recognise James Gyakye Quayson for the election of the Speaker.”
This was after Alex Afenyo-Markin, MP-elect for Efutu sought clarity on the matter.
“Mr Chairman, all I want to enquire is that you have indicated that you have received communication from the EC. I am aware of a process that has been mounted at the Cape Coast High Court for the injunction of the MP-elect for Assin North. I want to find out from you if you have received a court order…… which order makes reference to any person on the list … So Mr Chair I believe that a response from you is important because if a public process is served on you, it is important that we are noticed that you are served and if you are served, what step are you taking”, Afenyo-Markin queried.
The MP-elect’s comments led to exchanges between the MPs with Muntaka Mubarak, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu and others taking turns to argue whether or not James Gyakye should be recognized.
But the Clerk later stated that the Assin North MP-elect may decide to vote despite the injection since the consequences were solely his as per the Constitution and the Standing Orders. He arrived at the decision after conferencing with Haruna Iddrisu and Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, leaders of the NDC and NPP respectively.