A parliamentary constipation that has been induced by both the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) winning 137 seats apiece from the 2020 election is set to lead to a constitutional crisis as it bars the one independent parliamentarian from joining the governing party to form a majority in the House.
According to paragraph (h) of Article 97 of the Constitution, Hon. Andrew Amoako Asiamah (who split from the NPP and won as an independent candidate for the Fomena Constituency in the ASHANTI Region), can only vote in favor of the NPP but cannot join the NPP to form a majority in Parliament.
The Constitution makes it clear that if the Fomena wishes to identify himself as an NPP MP, he must vacate his seat in Parliament.
“An MP shall vacate his seat in Parliament if he was elected a Member of Parliament as an independent candidate but joins a political party,” Article 97 (h) states.
What this means, according to experts is that the Fomena MP who has indicated that he will sit with the NPP can only vote along the NPP over issues in Parliament but cannot identify as a member of the NPP side. This leaves a real tie which presents the question as to who gets to appoint the Speaker of Parliament.
Per the Constitution, the Majority side of the House is supposed to select the Speaker and First Deputy Speaker of the august House. The grey area so presented by the current situation jolts Ghana’s democracy into uncharted territories of governance.
Meanwhile, between the NDC and the NPP, political watchers think the NDC has a better chance of forming the majority in Parliament. Three seats declared for the NPP are in contention with the NDC stating optimism in snatching those seats.
In Zabzugu Constituency, for instance, the NPP’s Candidate, Jaabah John Bennam, virtually kidnapped EC officials to an unknown area and forced them to declare him MP-elect in the middle of the night.
The NDC has said that it has pink sheet figures that clearly bear out that it won the Techiman South Constituency which was somehow declared for the NPP.
In Essikado-Ketan, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Ghartey, is accused of stealing the election by using soldiers and party thugs to get the Electoral Commission to declare the seat for him under duress, and on the blindside of the NDC.
Also, the Electoral Commission is yet to carve out a Constituency from the newly created Guan district in the Oti Region, a political stronghold of the NDC.