January 16, 2021

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Spoilt ballot during election of Speaker blots image of Parliament – Ablakwa

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North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said that the spoilt ballot recorded during the election of a speaker for the 8th Parliament by MPs-elect on January 7 tarnishes the image of Parliament given that issues of spoilt ballots in elections have become a concern in Ghana.

The former Deputy Minister of Education stated that voting in the chamber is not compulsory as stated by the Standing Orders of Parliament therefore, it is better to stay away from that exercise than to vote and spoil the ballot paper.

During the elections in the chamber, the eventual winner, Mr Alban Bagbin polled 138 votes where as former Speaker Professor Mike Oquaye polled 136.

There was 1 spoilt ballot.

Commenting on this result, Mr Ablakwa said in a tweet that “Perhaps we should all be reminded of Standing Order 113(5) which stipulates: ‘A Member is not obliged to vote.’

“Better to stay away from voting if your mind is not made up than to make a mess of the process and have Parliament record spoilt ballots. That only worsens the image Challenges of the legislative body.

“Another useful lesson to learn from that epic inauguration of the 8th Parliament.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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