Military should NOT be at the polling centres -Bagbin

The military is not needed at the polling centres on the day of the election, the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has said.

According to him, the police should be allowed to guard the process without the military, and when the need arises, call in the latter.

“We don’t want to see the military during the election. When there is a need to call them, they will be called. But they should not be at the polling or voting centres,” he asserted.

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, said this on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 in his resumption address at the beginning of the third meeting of the fourth session of the eighth Parliament of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

The former Nadowli/Kaleo legislator was making statements on the role of stakeholders in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in December this year.


The Speaker observed that the atmosphere in the country was not conducive for leaders to stay aloof, going into the 2024 elections.

According to him, people, particularly the youth, are sensitive and any issue could trigger their anger, owing to rising unemployment and others.

“I shudder when I’m told that people carry knives and guns just to go and write their names. What about when we are going to vote and at the end of it, the results are announced and somebody else has carried the day and not the other? I shudder to think about what will happen,” he stated.


Meanwhile, the Speaker said he had initiated talks with heads of various state institutions to discuss ways of ensuring peace, ahead of the general elections.

He said that the House, led by himself, will hold an engagement with chairpersons of the Electoral Commission (EC), the National Media Commission (NMC), the Commission on Human Rights and Administration Justice (CHRAJ) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).

The engagement, he told the House, will discuss how Parliament can collaborate and work to create the right and just environment for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections.

This, he believes, will inspire confidence in the election process and faith in the country’s democratic dispensation.

“We will definitely not be doing this alone. We will include the President, the Council of State, the National Security Council, Flagbearers and national executives of political parties, as well as the security services, particularly the police, and I emphasise particularly the police,” he added.


The Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, began his remarks by criticising the work of the EC, recalling instances where his side had had the cause to call out the Commission in previous registration exercises.

According to him, the EC “learnt nothing from the past,” as it is repeating the same mistakes they made previously, including the locations of the registration centres.

He said the Commission was making the “simple” registration and voter transfer “frustrating and cumbersome,” claiming that it did not inspire hope.

He urged Parliament to call the EC to order to curtail chaos in this year’s polls.

He also spoke about the 5G spectrum right deal, describing it as opaque and called on the government to provide all the necessary documents on the transaction to the minority.

The minority leader also spoke about food inflation.


The Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, conceded in his remarks that Ghana is not a perfect country, but a lot has been achieved.

He cited some policies benefiting citizens, including the much-talked-about Free Senior High School policy.

He narrated a situation where the policy had enabled several children to pursue secondary education, the absence of which would result in those who could not afford not getting secondary education.

He indicated that the government acknowledges that the people face a lot of problems, but opined that history will remember the Akufo-Addo administration as having performed creditably.


The Member of Parliament for Effutu, in the Central Region, Afenyo-Markin, commented on the ongoing voter registration exercise and commended the EC.

According to him, though the Commission is “not perfect,” it has done better with the registration exercise than it did in 2016.

However, he spoke against the situation where elected members of the House pass commentary in the media to denigrate constitutional bodies and urged for a change of attitude, arguing that such comments could plunge the nation into chaos.


The agenda for the meeting, according to the Speaker and the Majority Leader, include urgent legislation for consideration.

The Affirmative Action, Gender Equality Bill 2023, Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (Amendment) Bill; International Business/Economic Transaction Bill, 2024; Parliamentary Transition Bill and the Budget Bill.

The Majority Leader said 24 bills have been referred to committees, and the Speaker said there are 80 more bills to be presented to the House.

“We have five instruments before committees. 27 more instruments are to be presented. 149 papers before various committees, 59 more to be presented and some agreements lined up to be passed or approved,” he stated.

The meeting, which commenced yesterday, is supposed to come to a close at the end of July, 2024 unless otherwise decided by members of the House.

The House discussed and adopted the business of the week before adjourning.



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