The Minority in Parliament yesterday boycotted the swearing in of Ms Lydia Alhassan, who was elected the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, Greater Accra Region, during the bye-election on Thursday, 31 January, 2019.
The election was marred with violence and attacks on some National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters.
Heavily-armed National Security operatives allegedly shot and wounded several members of the opposition NDC at the private residence of the NDC parliamentary candidate about an hour into the election.
And in support of their action, the minority MPs raised placards on the floor of Parliament with the inscription: “Bloody Widow,” indicating their protest against her swearing in.
Ahead of the swearing in of Ms Lydia Alhassan, the NDC MPs had served notice that they would not be part of it.
Ms Alhassan is a wife of the late MP Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko who died in the United States of America after seeking medical treatment.
She was sworn into office by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu.
MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, extolled the competence of Ms Alhasssan after she was sworn in.
She said: “We know her competencies, we know her courage, we know her endurance and we know her past records as a unifier, as a hardworking woman and a woman with a good heart.”
Meanwhile, some civil society organisations (CSOs) including the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), have described the violence that marred the bye-election as a threat to the rule of law and a blight on Ghana’s democratic credentials.
In a statement, the CSOs called on the government and the security agencies to probe the violence and bring the perpetrators to book.
Reacting to the incident, the GBA in a statement said it “views the use of firearms and acts of violence in a constituency where a bye-election was being held as a serious blight on Ghana’s democratic credentials and a threat to the rule of law.”
The GBA said it found it alarming and shameful that people should sustain gunshot wounds and others, including a member of Ghana’s legislative arm of government, would be assaulted by persons, some of whom were masked.
The association said “it condemns in no uncertain terms the action of the perpetrators and called on the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the culprits are duly charged and prosecuted.”
Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
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