Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has stated that Alban Bagbin did not win the election for Speakership conducted between himself and Prof Aaron Mike Ocquaye on January 7 as purported by the NDC.
During an interview with Emefa Apawu on The Probe, he indicated that about five or six votes counted in favour of Alban Bagbin were invalid as they had been in the possession of Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak.
These votes, he said, were not checked by the assistant clerk who was in charge of collating and counting the votes that day.
“I asked him (the assistant clerk) what he was doing. He said they were just stretching them out afterwards they will do the sorting out. He had put about five or six on one side. But after I asked the question then when he pulled any up he will look at it stretch it out and put then on one side or the other.”
“So really I was suspicious. I wouldn’t say it (the election) was rigged in the sense that somebody deliberately did something, but I thought that the first five or six ballots perhaps didn’t belong to the person they claimed it belonged to, which is Alban Bagbin.”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that after the ballots for the former Speaker Aaron Mike Ocquaye were counted, he asked his colleague Frank Annoh-Dompreh to closely monitor the count for Alban Bagbin.
He told the host Emefa Apawu that because of his suspicions he wanted to make sure that those votes truly did belong to Alban Bagbin, unfortunately, his fellow legislator, Carlos Ahenkorah, snatched the ballots compromising the elections.
The Majority Leader said that when the ballots were taken to the Speaker’s holding room after the incident, the Minority Cheif Whip Muntaka Mubarak was holding on to some ballots supposedly belonging to Alban Bagbin.
He stated that he insisted that these votes were counted but Mr Mubarak refused claiming that it will not be worth counting after the elections had been truncated.
Following this, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu added that he had initially requested that a new election be conducted so they could be sure of the numbers. However, considering the exigencies of time and the implications of not having a Speaker before the swearing-in of the President, it was agreed that Mr Bagbin would be sworn-in as Speaker and another election held 2 weeks after.
But the Minority he said did not accept his proposal, adding, “they wanted Alban Bagbin sworn in”.
However, Mr Kyei-Mensah said that although the NDC was insisting Mr Bagbin should be sworn in there were no numbers to support his supposed win.
“Because Ocquaye’s was supposed to be 137 and one of them turned out to be a spoilt ballot, so, how can you say that the remaining 138 all belong to Bagbin?”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further revealed that after consulting with the President-elect at the time and the leadership of the NPP, it was agreed that Mr Bagbin be declared the winner.
“In fact that came after negotiation. You see when we came to, time then was far spent, then we negotiated that we needed to really save the day to avoid any embarrassment so then I went into third gear, we said, that okay ‘let’s have Bagbin sworn-in but then we are not doing to say that choosing him is supported by any numbers.”
He insisted that Mr Bagbin was selected to be the Speaker by consensus of the leadership, for which reason “we didn’t mention any numbers.”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said that the decision to approve of Mr Bagbin was essential because “People were even painting the picture of the security services taking over the administration of the country.
“If you want to save the country sometimes you take decisions that would allow the integrity of the state to be protected.”
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