Majority Leader in the 7th Parliament, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has admitted to asking the Marshal in Parliament to call in the police during the scuffle in the build up to the Speaker’s election.
He told Ghanaweb he asked the Marshal to bring in the police to guard the ballot but he was taken aback when he saw the military invade he chamber since that was not what he called for.
Prior to his admission, there had been lingering questions regarding who gave the order for the military to be deployed into the chamber during the voting process.
Fingers had been pointed at the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) caucus as well as Defense Minister for the incident.
But Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu put all speculations to rest by admitting he was the one who asked for the police, except that the police came in with the military to his own surprise.
Narrating the timelines of incidents during the dissolution of the 7th Parliament and the voting of the Speaker of the 8th, the former Majority Leader, disclosed that he asked the Marshall department to invite police to protect the balloting process.
He explained that he had to resort to that after the leadership from both sides of the House could not reach a consensus to organize a rerun of the balloting on three occasions.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, however, added that he was surprised when he saw that the police come in with soldiers armed to the teeth, a sight he described as “unfortunate.”
“I asked the Marshall department that we have had three failed attempts. Can you bring in the Police… the Marshall department works closely with the police… Can you bring the police to protect the balloting? That’s what I said. When the police were coming, unfortunately, we had soldiers there, well-armed – and I thought that also was not the best of arrangements. And my colleagues then said we should have the police and the soldiers move from the arena of the chamber before we could continue with the voting…” the former Majority Leader told GhanaWeb.
“At that time, I could see the strong resolve to frustrate the voting process. However, we said, ok, let them recline to the extreme corners of the chamber so that if there was anything, they could assist us to protect the voting process…” Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu furthered.