Former Deputy Trades Minister, Mr. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah

Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Alban S. K. Bagbin to probe the conduct of MP for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, on the floor of the House during the election of Speaker for the 8th Parliament.

On January 6, 2021, parliamentarians voted to elect a new Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. After votes were cast and were being counted, Mr Ahenkorah snatched some of the ballot papers from officials of Parliament and the Electoral Commission and bolted. He was apprehended almost immediately by Marshalls of Parliament.

The petition was presented to the Speaker during a courtesy call by the Executive Director of ASEPA, Mensah Thompson.

Mr Thompson said Mr Ahenkorah’s conduct brought the dignity of the honourable House into disrepute.

ASEPA petitions Speaker to probe snatching of ballot papers by Tema West MP

The petition quoted section 28, 29, 30(c)(g)(k) of the Standing Orders of the House to back its request. It added that the conduct of the Tema West legislator constituted a breach of the privileges of Parliament.

Section 28 for instance states that, “an act or omission which obstructs or impedes Parliament in the performance of its functions or which obstructs or impedes a Member or officer of Parliament in the discharge of his duties or affronts the dignity of Parliament or which tends, either directly or indirectly, to produce such a result shall be contempt of Parliament.

The Speaker assured ASEPA that the petition would be studied and the right action taken.

He stressed the need for more civil society engagements, especially in the work of Parliament and said no government can make democracy possible without civil society playing an active role.

ASEPA petitions Speaker to probe snatching of ballot papers by Tema West MP

Speaker Bagbin further highlighted the importance of enhancing Parliament-citizen interface and engagement through partnership with civil society and think-tanks as captured in Parliament’s Corporate Strategic Plan (2020-2024).

“We want to bring Parliament closer to the people and ASEPA finds itself in a very unique position to support the 8th Parliament in this regard,” he said.

The Speaker commended the leadership of ASEPA for becoming one of the leading national voices despite the short period of its existence.