Ghanaian president sworn in for second term a day after parliamentary scuffles
CAPE TOWN - Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has been sworn in for a second term on Thursday, a day after scuffles broke out between rival politicians in parliament.
According to a BBC report, authorities had to briefly deploy soldiers after the unusual scenes in one of Africa's most stable democracies.
Various media outlets reported on Thursday that mayhem erupted after a lawmaker from the ruling party tried to seize the ballot box during the vote for parliament speaker.
The ensuing clash lasted several hours until the army moved in, with national television broadcasting the scuffles live.
The tight December elections saw the country’s Electoral Commission announce that incumbent 76-year-old Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer for the centre-right New Patriotic Party, had won 51.6% of the votes.
His rival John Mahama, who was president of Ghana from 2011 to 2016, rejected the official results in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to the Africa Report, the Electoral Commission announced that Mahama won 47.4% of the total, but he claimed that the commission had failed to respond to his party’s questions about what he said were mistakes in voter collation.
Mahama also said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 140 seats in the 275-seat parliament, giving it control of the legislature.
At least five people were killed during the elections, which were otherwise relatively peaceful.
On Tuesday, Akufo-Addo delivered the State of the Nation Address (Sona) in the country’s capital Accra before the dissolution of the seventh parliament.
In his speech, Akufo-Addo pledged to build on his achievements towards advancing the well-being of all Ghanaians.
The president called on members of parliament to be more accommodating in the next parliament, which has an almost equal strength on both sides, bearing in mind the challenges the country faces, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, writes Ghana News.