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Brawl in Ghana’s parliament taint election of speaker

Chaos on the floor of Ghana’s parliament on Wednesday as legislators voted to choose the next speaker of the 8th parliament of the 4th Republic.   -  
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Image by CitiTV


Opposition politicians clashed in Ghana's parliament on Wednesday night, prompting a military intervention. 

Legislators were voting to choose the next parliament speaker. Chaos erupted after a lawmaker from the ruling party tried to seize the ballot box. 

The ensuing clash lasted several hours until the army moved in, with national television broadcasting the drama live.

"There was total breakdown of law and order," said MP-elect Kwame Twumasi Ampofo of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

"Looking at a member of parliament and a minister of state snatching ballot papers... was so shameful."

After calm was restored, an opposition MP and a veteran politician Alban Bagbin was elected speaker of the 4th Republic.

As one of the oldest serving legislators, the MP for the Nadowli Kaloe constituency of the Upper West region, polled 138 votes against the ruling New Patriotic Party’s choice and his predecessor Aaron Mike Ocquaye’s 136 with one MP failing to vote.

Bagbin makes history for being the first Speaker of Parliament who is not selected by the governing party.

More than a dozen opposition MPs were charged with unlawful gathering on Monday after protesting the election results.

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