ACCRA, Ghana (AP) — A group of military officers burst onto the floor of Ghana's parliament overnight after an apparent dispute between ruling and opposition party lawmakers ahead of Thursday's swearing-in ceremony.

It was not immediately known who ordered them to enter, but their presence stalled work for a while. Legislators later walked the soldiers out.

The development followed a December election that tested the West African nation’s reputation as one of the continent’s most politically stable countries.

President Nana Akufo-Addo was being sworn in for a second term Thursday after winning 51.3% of the votes.

Former President John Dramani Mahama, who received 47.3%, has refused to concede defeat and petitioned the Supreme Court to turn aside the results.

Not long after the soldiers were escorted out, a legislator from the ruling party tried to snatch ballot papers that were being counted for parliament speaker. Opposition lawmakers overpowered Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah as he attempted to run off with them.

Ahenkorah, who was the deputy minister for trade, had to resign his position in July after he acknowledged breaching COVID-19 protocols for isolation and visited electoral registration centers.

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