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First meeting of 8th Parliament was turbulent, near riotous – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

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First meeting of 8th Parliament was turbulent, near riotous – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. 1

 

 

Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has described the first meeting of the current Parliament as a turbulent one adding that he did not anticipate the near riotous incidents that occurred.

Speaking on Joy News’ The Probe programme over the weekend, the Suame Member of Parliament said with the near equal number of MPs on both sides he knew that the majority needed to engender a consultative approach to working with the opposition.

Asked to pick one word to describe the January 7 inaugural meeting of MPs, he said: “It was turbulent.”

Asked further why he believed that turbulence played out, he continued: “With the near parity in numbers, I thought that we were going to be very consultative in whatever step that we wanted to take as the ruling party, as the ruling administration.

“And in parliament with the NDC having 137 and we having 137 plus one, as I said we needed really to stabilize ourselves and reach out to the minority as often as possible.”

Kyei-Mensha-Bonsu expanded on the implication of an executive that did not have legislative majority as nearly happened in 2013 and 2020 but admitted that he did not anticipate the violent scenes that characterized the first sitting of the 8th parliament.

“What I didn’t anticipate is the near riot that we witnessed in Parliament. I don’t want to believe that we are going to see a very obstructionist opposition party. But so far, we are not too sure of how to read the weather. It is not predictable,” he added.

There were violent scenes in Parliament on January 7, 2021 when the 7th Parliament was dissolved to make way for the constitution of the current Parliament.

The night started with a seating brawl as the opposition NDC took the side meant for the then NPP Majority but the real crisis kicked off when the time came to elect the Speaker of the House.

A standoff that saw MPs openly engage in name calling and even physical confrontations forcing a military contingent to intervene at a point but when all was said and done, the NDC’s candidate and former Nadowli-Kaleo MP, Alban Bagbin beat the NPP’s candidate in the person of Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.

A number of MPs have since publicly apologized for the incidents which attracted weeks of condemnation by the public on traditional and social media platforms.