It is 12:00 midnight! The life of the sixth Parliament of the 4th Republic has ended.
President John Mahama’s tenure as president has effectively ended too even though he had an eventful afternoon commissioning another project, the new WAEC hall. It was his last commissioning ceremony.
The MPs of the old Parliament are also no more, except those who managed to retain their seats.
The new MPs are getting ready to be sworn into office to begin a new life in Parliament, a new journey in the legislature, one heavily tilted towards the New Patriotic Party majority.
Speaker to be Prof Mike Ocquaye has just walked into the chamber led by KT Hammond in white all waiting to be sworn in.
The roll call in Parliament for the new MPs at 12 midnight marks the beginning of a long night, which will be extended to Saturday morning’s swearing-in of Nana Akufo-Addo as president.
There is complete change of guards in the House. The Minority NDC will now be sitting to the left of the new speaker to be elected whilst the Majority NPP will be speaking to his right.
There is drama in Parliament as Ex-president Rawlings in a conciliatory gesture walks to former Accra Mayor Oko Vanderpuije now MP to have a chit-chat or maybe apologise for an earlier stunt which went viral.
Some two days ago, the ex-president in a hey! don’t- come-near- me-posture, twice left Alfred Oko Vanderpuije embarrassed as he climbed the staircase to the House of Parliament. Vanderpuije, with his usual long beard attempted a Buddhist bow in reverence to Mr Rawlings but got snubbed in the process. The video went viral. But tonight the ex-president has reconciled at least with a walk of grace to the man he despised.
Clerk begins proceedings
Clerk of Parliament Emmanuel Anyimadu begins proceedings after an official opening prayer. He reads out his mission to the house -to supervise the election of the new Speaker and his two deputies and to swear them in. He then invites the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu to nominate a speaker.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu steps up and names Prof Mike Ocquaye as the Majority’s choice of a Speaker after a long preamble. He continues to provide the track record of the Prof who they affectionately call ‘Papa Ajasco.’
After his nomination, Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader steps up and seconds the motion by the Majority Leader but not before a little drama. Mahama Ayariga, MP for Bawku Central rises up hoping to make a comment but is ignored.
The Chief Justice Georgina Wood makes her way to the floor ready to do her constitutional duty. The Clerk asks the Speaker-to-be if is his willing to accept his new role. He responds in the affirmative.
The Chief Justice begins to read her oath. Prof Mike Ocquaye repeats after her. The swearing-in has been done and loud cheers follows immediately.