MP demands probe into alleged breaches in voting that approved ministers 

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Mr. Sylvester Tetteh, has called on the House to probe allegations of breach of secrecy regarding the votes taken on Friday, March 25, 2023, to consider six ministerial and deputy ministerial nominees. Mr. Tetteh said those found culpable after the investigation should be made to apologise publicly.

His comment follows a statement made by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and MP for Fomena, Mr. Andrew Asiamah Amoako, regarding the exercise. Seeking leave of the House under Order 72 of the Standing Orders of Parliament to make a short statement on the exercise, the Second Deputy Speaker said some members had breached the rules of the House by making their votes public on social media.

According to Mr. Asiamah Amoako, the vote was supposed to be secret, so putting it on social media was a breach of secrecy. He based his argument on Article 104(4) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 110(b) of the Standing Orders of Parliament.

Article 104(4) states: “Where Parliament is considering a bill to amend the Constitution, or where the voting is in relation to the election or removal of any person under this Constitution, or under any other law, voting shall be in secret.”

He described the act as an affront to Ghana’s democracy, and asked the members to refrain from it going forward. He said the lawmakers were supposed to be the cream of Ghana’s democracy, and that it was shocking that the members put up such behaviour.

He beseeched the members to refrain from the act, because, in as much as they would want to let their constituents or parties know how they voted, they should bear in mind that the whole world was watching.

“…I am not saying this to despise anybody. I am bringing it to our attention,” the Fomena Legislator said.

But, Mr. Tetteh was of the opinion that the House should go beyond just advice, and rather investigate and make the culprits apologise.

He argued that showing results of the secret votes on social media was an affront to democracy.

He noted that if the members could act that way, then they did not have the morale right to educate their constituents on voting.

He, therefore, called on the House to purge itself off the incident by conducting a probe.

The Member for Bole Bamboi, Mr. Yusif Sulemana, on his part, said that if there was any evidence to prove the Second Deputy Speaker’s claim, then the results could be declared null and void and fresh a vote taken.

He pleaded with the Second Deputy Speaker to produce evidence if he had any, so that the results of the elections could be nullified.

“Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, the election was conducted in secrecy, but if there is any evidence to suggest that it was not done in secrecy, what it means is that the results of the elections could be null and void.

“And so if he has evidence contrary to what we know, they should bring it out and then the results can be cancelled, and then we do the rightful thing,” Mr. Sulemana said.

He, however, suggested that the House should set some standards as to how elections should be conducted going forward.

He indicated that he had been in the House for a while and had observed that there seemed to be no identified standard on how elections were conducted. He said such a practice does not help the work of Parliament, and pleaded to the House to set some standards.

“If we can come up with some standards as to how we conduct elections here it will help our cause,” Mr. Sulemana suggested.

Responding to the suggestion of the votes being annulled, the First Deputy Speaker, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, who was in the Chair, said the rules of the House did not permit the whole voting to be cancelled. He said voting can only be cancelled if the person breached the rules.


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