Error. Film specified.non-Ghanese soldiers in front of the Ghanaian parliament in Accra, Ghana, January 7, 2021 PHOTO: AFP

Civil society organizations (CSOs) involved in the development of electoral programs in Ghana have expressed concern over the events that marked the dissolution of the seventh parliament and the beginning of the eighth.

According to civil society organizations, Ghanaians are waking up to videos and media reports of the horrific scenes taking place in Parliament during the supposedly sacred and solemn process of electing the Speaker of Parliament and swearing in the Members of Parliament.

“The military’s presence in the House was an extreme low point in Parliament,” reads a statement backed by 14 civil society organizations, a copy of which was provided to Capitalnewsonline.com.

They condemned the artifice they witnessed last night and at dawn in Parliament and called on all political parties and stakeholders to work for the preservation of the nation’s democratic gains.
Below is the full statement

NEWSLETTER

By Civil Society Organizations in Election Programs
(For Immediate Publication – January 7, 2021)
Political leaders must show willingness to compromise and concede in order to preserve Ghana’s democratic gains Today,
January 7, 2021, Ghanaians woke up to videos and media reports of horrific scenes in the Ghanaian Parliament on the occasion of the sacred and solemn process of electing the Speaker of Parliament and swearing-in of Members of Parliament.

The scenes witnessed by Ghanaians before the international community betrayed the proclamations of our political leaders who proclaimed democratic principles, the rule of law and the pursuit of the common good.

During the disturbances that followed, the police and then the military were called in to restore order. The presence of the military in parliament was an extreme low point in parliamentary activity. This reflects the recent tendency to make excessive use of military resources to solve civilian problems.

As a nation, we must quickly move away from this evolutionary pattern as we move forward. Moreover, the unruly antics of elected members of parliament temporarily threatened to perpetuate a dangerous constitutional and governmental situation in which neither parliament nor a president could run the country.

We strongly condemn the theft of the ballot box and expect those responsible for this act to be punished by the House of Representatives.

Fortunately, the political leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) managed to find a compromise that led to the election of Alban Bagbin as President of the 8th/4th Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu as First Vice-President and Andrew Asiama Amoako as Second Vice-President.

The resolution adopted by the two political parties confirms that the Eighth Parliament can only succeed if both parties work together in a spirit of compromise, consensus and agreement for the benefit of all Ghanaians and the development of the country.

We expect the Parliament to adopt a culture of mediation, negotiation and compromise, in particular the completion of the first part of the democratic transition that will culminate in the inauguration of the President-elect, without prejudice to the ongoing processes challenging the President’s declaration for the 2020 elections.

It is in this spirit that we appeal to the Nduma National Congress and all other political parties to participate fully in the inauguration to promote unity and peace in the country.

Finally, the complex process of electing the Speaker of Parliament has revealed a number of legal and constitutional issues that need to be considered and reformed.

We hope to discuss these issues in detail in due course. We call on all well-meaning Ghanaians to heed this call and ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to democracy.

In the Service of God and Homeland.
Signatories:
Citizens’ Forum Initiative (CGI
)Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG
)Centre for Democratic Development (CDD
)Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).

NorsaakFoundation Ark
Ghana
Anti-Corruption Coalition
(GACC
)Ghana
Integrity Initiative (GII
)Citizens Anti-Corruption Movement (CMAC)
IMANI African Republic

African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA)
SEND GANASTAR
Foundation of GhanaAfrican Institute for Civil Society (AZAGO)

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