Tema West lawmaker Carlos Ahenkorah has apologized for snatching ballot papers during the Speaker election in Parliament on Thursday.
The former deputy Trade Minister claimed his conduct was based on pure love for the ruling NPP.
Mr. Ahenkorah has taken a good deal of flak for snatching ballot papers on national television during the counting of votes after MPs balloted to elect a Speaker for the 8th Parliament.
Ahenkorah has indicated he wanted to force a re-run to benefit his party amidst the voting irregularities, hence his decision to snatch the ballot papers.
“It’s a very tough situation to have opposition as speaker especially when he’s the president in the absence of Nana Addo and his vice not to mention how parliament would function by passing the presidents policies and laws to pave way for development. My colleagues on the majority side couldn’t help take advantage of my sacrifices to force a rerun and we’d to settle for an opposition speaker,” he wrote in a statement.
“I must say I am heartbroken and dejected. We’ve not seen the end of this yet. With this success, they would tell us what they want and what they don’t in parliament because the whip system has been compromised. This is so sad. I’ll die for my party any day. I did it for the grassroots who relied on us in power to survive, the president who needs some peace to run the country and the greater NPP party as a whole because we cannot always allow the NDC to threaten and vilify us. I apologise though to my family and friends both far and near who may be affected by my actions. The NPP in me couldn’t be controlled. I apologise but I tried!!!”.
He, however, justified his action saying ” As the first few NPP members voted the NDC whip in the person of Muntaka attacked an NPP member and collected his ballot paper from him because he’s shown it to someone. A scuffle ensued and he took the ballot box itself and the ballots inside away. After a long wait, balloting recommenced. This time the same Muntaka took the ballot box and runoff that someone was showing their ballot whiles John Jinapor and Sam George kick boxed the voting booth. This act happened 3x so leadership had to go into conclave once more. Upon their return they asked us not to show our votes anymore. I Immediately sensed danger especially when during voting we noticed many skirmishes where some opposition members would cross over into the npp voting booth to vote there etc. Looking at the slim margin between us all the ndc had to do was to buy a couple of members of npp and carry the day. So i indicated to leadership the dangers in that ruling. After voting and true to my words, the npp votes counted 136 instead of 138 numbers we had. I wouldn’t accept that. The irregularities accompanying the voting from the start were too many which had compromised the voting so much so that I’d to create a situation for a rerun. Just as my colleague from the other side took the ballot box away on 3 occasions, i also grabbed a few ballot papers before they could be counted so as to force a rerun.”
The closely contested Speakership election ended with a former NDC lawmaker Alban Bagbin emerging winner making the scenario first in Ghana’s history.