The Member of Parliament for Tema West, Carlos Kingsley Ahenkroah, has opened up about his ballot snatching incident during the election of the Speaker of Ghana’s 8th Parliament.
For those who have taken interest in moments leading to the ballot snatching, the leader of New Patriotic Party MPs, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu has been pointed as being an accomplice in the plot and possibly issuing the final command to the Tema West MP. This is because in a video showing what preceded the action, Mr Ahenkroah is seen in a conversation with his party leader right after which he swung into action. Speaking in an interview with Okay FM a day after the incident, Mr Ahenkraoh said the conversation with his leader was his effort to get him to act in preventing what was becoming an eminent defeat for their nominee. “I went to my leader to tell him that “leader they’ve finished counting the ballots of our nominee, 136. If we sit and allow them to establish the rest of the ballots it will be a completed election. I don’t want them to finish the counting, do something,” he revealed. With the hope that the Majority Leader of the 7th parliament, well vexed in parliamentary orders, will quote a standing order or orders to halt the process, the Tema East MP said the only response he got from Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu was that he should wait.
Realizing that time was getting out of hand the MP said he took a personal decision without his leaders’ knowledge or approval and dashed for the ballot papers. “People are saying he instructed me to do it but let me say it on record, my leader did not ask me to do it. I take full responsibility for my actions. I told him to act and he said I should wait a little. Then I asked him why I should wait, at least you are our leader, you know the standing orders, you can quote some law for proceedings to be halted. But he insisted I should be patient. So, I told him I can’t be patient any longer so I had to snatch the ballot papers. Because if they are unable to complete the counting that will mean there will not be any numbers for them to stand on,” he stated. Mr Ahenkorah’s success in seeing through his venture was partial and short-lived as his getaway after snatching the ballot papers from the hands of a parliamentary official was stopped by over a dozen men made up of Parliamentary Marshalls and NDC MPs who chased after him immediately he took off. The New Patriotic Party nominee for the Speaker of Ghana’s 8th Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oqauye was tipped to win against his contender, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, nominated by the opposition NDC. Though having the same representational numbers of 137 as the NDC, the NPP’s guarantee was on the declared support of the Independent Member of Parliament for Fomena, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, in the election where voting was highly anticipated to be along party lines.
However, when votes were finally counted at the end of a rather chaotic process, Mr Bagbin won with 138 votes against Mr Oqauye who obtained 136 while one vote was counted as rejected.