The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is accusing the governing New Patriotic Party of double-dealing in the selection of both the first and second deputy speakers of Parliament.
General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah who has opened up on how Speaker Alban Bagbin’s deputies were elected said although the NPP had pleaded with the NDC parliamentarians for those two choices to be made, the governing party deployed “trickery” despite the NDC’s good faith and interest in the country’s parliamentary democracy.
Mr. Nketiah said this was evident in the utterances of the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, moments after the selection of Alban Bagbin as Speaker.
Speaking at the 40th Anniversary commemoration of the 31st December Revolution in Accra last Friday, the NDC’s chief scribe mentioned that they allowed the NPP to have its way, to build consensus, and maintain peace in the country.
“The leadership of NPP came to Parliament and actually came to beg us to allow them to select a first deputy speaker and in the end, word was sent from the Presidency that they are also begging, so we agreed. Still, they persisted and virtually begged us that they do not want to disgrace Ghana.”
“NDC does not want this country destroyed, so we agreed. Immediately, we agreed, the first statement that came from Osei-Kyei-Mensah after the swearing-in was that, we begged them and that there was no election in Parliament to select a first deputy speaker.”
“Those of you accusing NDC of not being interested in negotiations should listen carefully. As if that was not enough, immediately after the second deputy speaker was selected, he also addressed the press and declared his support for the NPP. What does that mean? [It meant] that the NPP used trickery to select the two deputy speakers.” Election of Speakers for 8th Parliament
The tight Speaker of Parliament race in January 2021, saw Mr. Bagbin winning the election by two votes against former Speaker, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.
The outcome of that election remains a major shock to the New Patriotic Party which had wanted to consolidate its grip on power by securing majority representation in Parliament and getting its proposed Speaker of Parliament nominee, Prof. Oquaye maintained.
Following that keenly contested election that was characterised by several controversial events that lasted several hours, many feared that there may be calls for separate elections to be conducted for the first and second Deputy Speakers instead of them being hand-picked as has been done in the past.
However, a crunch meeting with the leadership of the NDC and NPP in Parliament as well as General Secretaries of the NDC and the NPP in attendance, concluded that the Bekwai MP, Joseph Osei-Owusu and Fomena MP, Andrews Amoako Asiamah be selected as first and second Deputy Speakers, respectively.
The NPP side proposed one of its members, Joseph Osei-Owusu while the NDC side selected Andrews Amoako Asiamah, who is an independent candidate.
Both sides agreed to the proposals.