The Minority in Parliament Tuesday boycotted the swearing-in of the newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, Madam Lydia Seyram Alhassan, in order not to give credence or legitimacy to her election.
Dressed in black and red attires, the Minority MPs held placards in the House with the description “Bloody Widow”, to demonstrate their description of her election as bloody.
Immediately after the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, had read a communique from the Electoral Commission (EC) informing the House of the election of Madam Alhassan and a motion was moved for her swearing-in by the Deputy Majority Leader, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo, the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, indicated that the Minority Members could not participate in the swearing-in because her election was characterised by violence.
But the swearing-in proceeded as Ms. Safo contended that Parliament was following due process as Madam Alhassan was duly elected and the results of the election were relayed to Parliament by the EC.
Immediately after the walkout, the Minority MPs led by Alhaji Muntaka marched to the Ghana Police Service Headquarters to show solidarity to their colleague National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George, to lodge a complaint for the alleged assault on him during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election held on January 31, 2019.
The about 30 minutes walk to the Police Headquarters and the subsequent return to Parliament, according to Alhaji Muntaka, was to demand justice for their colleague MP and other persons who were allegedly assaulted during the by-election.
They served notice that the Minority in Parliament would rollout a series of further actions “until a national enquiry was commissioned and until the perpetrators including the masked cowards and bloodthirsty hoodlums are brought to justice.”
At the Police Headquarters, Mr George and some Minority Members met with a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team, and he was subsequently given a complaint form to write his statement and to deliver it tomorrow Wednesday.
Another delegation, led by Alhaji Muntaka and the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Avedzi, met with the Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, Mr Alex Mensah.
Madam Alhassan, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate who won the by-election, was the second wife of the late NPP MP for constituency, Mr Emmanuel Kyeremateng-Agyarko. She has thus replaced her husband as the MP for the constituency.
The conduct of the polls was marred by a shooting incident at the residence of one of the aspirants, Mr Kwasi Delali Brempong, the NDC candidate, which resulted in injuries to about 18 persons and an assault on an observer at one of the polling stations.
At the La Bawaleshie School Park, Mr George, who was observing the elections, was assaulted by some unidentified persons.
The incident also resulted in the NDC party directing their agents to withdraw from the various polling stations.
Series of democratic actions
Briefing journalists after the two meetings at the Police Headquarters, Alhaji Muntaka said the Minority Members had registered their worry at the failure of the police to effect any arrests after the violent attacks at the by-election and demanded a swift action.
Again, he said the Police had apologised to Mr George for the refusal of officers at the Legon Police Station to take his statement.
Alhaji Muntaka said the Minority in Parliament had begun “a series of democratic actions to protest against the State-sponsored violence and terror that was unleashed on innocent unarmed citizens including our colleague, the Honourable Member for Ningo-Prampram, Mr. Samuel Nartey George during the bloody Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election of January 31, 2019.
“It is our strong conviction that violence and State-orchestrated terror has no place in our democratic dispensation”, he said.