Former President John Dramani Mahama has described as an abomination the invasion of the parliamentary chamber by armed soldiers during the inauguration of the 8th Parliament on January 7, 2021.
He said the sight of the incident made Ghana appear like a ‘banana republic’; a politically unstable country governed by an authoritarian regime.
He made the remarks at a meeting with National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament on Friday, January 8, 2021.
The election 2020 flagbearer of the NDC said the incident was an unpleasant sight that mirrors some of the things that occurred during the 2020 polls.
“Everything that is wrong with our democracy under this President played out in Parliament that night. Snatching of ballot papers, attempting to disenfranchise the voters by getting Assin North MP out of the chamber… Attempting to compromise the secrecy of the ballot, the entry of the military of the chamber. That is an abomination, it makes us look like a banana republic. Because you [MPs] were there, and you were emotionally charged, I’m sure the infamy of that event did not strike you but when you see it on TV again, you will see how low our democracy has sunk under this presidency,” John Mahama said.
Several unexpected incidents characterized the dissolution of the old Parliament and inauguration of a new one from the night of Wednesday, January 6, 2021, to Thursday, January 7, 2021.
These incidents included the several chaotic disruptions in the voting process for a new Speaker of Parliament, the snatching of ballot papers as well as the invasion of military personnel.
The NDC’s proposed candidate for Speaker, Alban Bagbin was eventually elected as the Speaker of Parliament.
John Mahama believes it was the hard work and vigilance of the NDC members in Parliament that ensured that the process continued to the end and the Speaker duly elected.
He said their actions were a “not a fight for yourself, it was not the fight for the NDC, it was a fight to protect the democracy of Ghana.”