Panic ensued in Ghana as a group of soldiers burst onto the floor of Ghana’s parliament following a heated showdown between ruling and opposition party lawmakers ahead of Thursday’s presidential swearing-in ceremony.
According to the Reuters News Agency, the conflict started when one member of parliament from the president’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) seized the ballot box during an overnight vote to determine the house speaker.
“There was total breakdown of law and order,” said MP-elect Kwame Twumasi Ampofo of the leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC). “Looking at a member of parliament and a minister of state snatching ballot papers… was so shameful.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo was being sworn in for a second term Thursday after winning 51.3% of the votes.
The soldiers were escorted from the premises by lawmakers after a short delay.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, who received 47.3%, is still refusing, slamming the results as “fraudulent.” He has filed a petition with the Supreme Court in a bid to overturn the election results.
“What we witnessed across the country from 7 December, 2020, exposed a deliberate plan to manipulate and pre-determine the results of the election in favour of the incumbent, Nana Akufo-Addo,” Mahama told a press conference at NDC headquarters in Accra on 10 December.
Akufo-Addo has vehemently denied the allegations against him:
“The National Democratic Congress has decided to proceed to the Supreme Court to contest the results of the rigged elections of December 7. The decision follows a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our party on Tuesday in Accra,” a statement reads via Mahama’s official Twitter account. “While in court, the NDC will continue all legitimate actions, including protests, to demand the enforcement of the rule of law and protection of life and property of the good people of Ghana. #RespectMyVote,” his statement concluded.