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Democracy can be messy


The maxim that democracy can be messy was on stark display last week in parliament when some of our lawmakers created a scene completely reminiscent of the famous brawls in Taiwan’s parliament. What we saw in parliament was despicable, brazen and a blow to our body politic and an affront to our democratic values.

The two principal actors in the ugly spectacle were the irascible and confrontational Carlos Ahenkorah, the MP from Tema who famously walked around mask-less while infected with Covid19 and the equally pugnacious and hardnosed Muntaka Mubarak, the lawmaker from Asawase in the Kumasi metropolitan area.

But it was the singular craven act of Ahenkorah that sparked the fire and subsequently led to the fisticuffs that has since been roundly condemned from far and near; screeching media headlines around black Africa poked fun at us and Nigeria, reports said, gleefully took delight in watching us stumble.

One memorable instance of the insanity last week in parliament was captured in a viral video of Ahenkorah fleeing after snatching ballots and being chased by Muntaka. It was no doubt hilarious but seriously, it punched a hole in a our democratic bona fides and will certainly be seared in our collective memory for years to come.

And whose idea, pray tell, was it to invite the military into the chamber? The defense minister, Dominic Nitiwul and Osei Mensah Bonsu, the former majority leader are caught in a web of lies, each vehemently denying responsibility.

No one in the NPP administration has had the spine to admit the obvious which is that the soldiers acted under direct orders from someone high up in the party’s hierarchy.

Ghanaians are used to seeing their lawmakers peacock and pontificate in condescending ways about policy and national issues. But what we saw in parliament last week, the histrionics and ego-tripping, a lingering effect of the just concluded elections indicate in no small measure a desperate thrust for power.

Our politicians may be educated, sophisticated and cosmopolitan, but given what transpired last week they are backward, inept and plain ignorant. Despite the ugliness of the violence, our democracy is not in danger of failure. There are enough safeguards in the system to prevent such an implosion.

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