Former legislator and Second Deputy Speaker of the 7th Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, of the National Democratic Congress has been elected Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Mr Bagbin was elected in a closely contested secret ballot in the Chamber of Parliament on Thursday against immediate past Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, who was re-nominated by the NPP caucus.
With 138 votes against his predecessor 136 the former Member of Parliament for Nadowli Kaleo Constituency makes history for being the first Speaker of Parliament who is not selected by the governing party.
His election followed a long dragging process that lasted for over nine hours on the floor of Parliament right from the dissolution of the 7th Parliament through to the election of a new speaker for the 8th Parliament.
Netizens particularly Ghanaians have reacted to the news in shock albeit welcoming the outcome as a step in the right direction for Ghana’s democracy.
Others are wondering why some members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) chose Alban Bagbin over their party’s choice.
Unbeknownst to many, Alban Bagbin’s Speaker of Parliament job was predicted three years earlier.
Long before the 2020 presidential and Parliamentary elections a former Deputy Minister of Communications under the John Dramani Mahama regime had predicted the future of one of the longest serving parliamentarians.
Mr. Edward Ato Sarpong in the build up to the National Democratic Congress presidential primaries in 2018 said the then Member of Parliament for the Nadowli Kaleo constituency, Honorable Alban Bagbin, will be a fine speaker of Parliament in future but not a President of Ghana.
Speaking on the Dwaboase socio-political morning show on Osu-based Power 97.9FM on Monday 5 March 2018, the former minister observed that Hon Bagbin, a presidential candidate hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the 2020 election has the potential to be a speaker of Parliament because of his rich experience in Parliament since 1992.
“He’s excelled so, so well, but we need people like that in Parliament and how nice it will be if he is sitting in the chair as a speaker of Parliament,” Mr Sarpong said while explaining that Hon. Bagbin has no chance contesting former President Mahama ahead of the 2020 elections.
“One of my favorite Legislators [is] Alban Bagbin. He’s served this nation well…One of the longest serving parliamentary [who] speaks excellently well…In all the places he’s been, he’s been a minister several times,” he told Kaakyire Kwesi Appea-Apraku.
Four persons contested former President John Dramani Mahama in the NDC flagbearership race ahead of the 2020 presidential election — Alban Bagbin included.
The others were former CEO of the National Health Insurance Authority, Sylvester Menah; NDC Communicator Stephen Atubiga, former Trades Minister Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah, and Professor Joshua Alabi. Eventually John Mahama won and led the party to the 2020 presidential election.
By: Bernard Ralph Adams