We shall discuss the commotion which preceded the election of Alban Sumana Bagbin of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic in another article, which dented the pristine reputation of the country regarding it democratic credentials.
On Thursday however, following a secret ballot demanded by the NDC, the former MP for Nadowli Kaleo beat immediate past speaker Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye of the New Patriotoc Party (NPP) for the position of Speaker of Parliament by polling 138 votes as against Ocquaye’s 136 votes with one abstention.
In a Citi FM Eye Witness News interview tonight however an NPP caucus member revealed upon the count, both Bagbin and Oquaye had 136 votes with two missing ballots which the NDC claim went missing when Tema West MP Carlos Ahenkorah snatched the ballot during the count. The NDC allegation is that he chewed the ballots and swallowed them if General Secretary Asiedu Nketia is to be believed. After two hours and in the spirit of consensus building Bagbin was settled on by the legislators.
A career parliamentarian, Bagbin’s ascension have been looked forward to even by opposition legislators whose worked with him and highly rate his efficiency and consensus building skills.
By becoming the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Ghana’s democratic resilience will once again be tested and if it prevails become a shining example on the continent as having a speaker from an opposing party to that of the president’s.
The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had put forward professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, Bagbin’s predecessor but it appears some NPP legislators were not too keen on him having a second mandate with talks floating it had become difficult for him to walk or move given the demands of the office.
Online chatter showed the Ghanaian electorate whose vote pattern in the December 7 general election caused the hung parliament in the first place were delighted with a Bagbin leadership in parliament.
by michael eli dokosi/www.blakkpepper.com/Ghana
To be honest I am very happy for Alban Bagbin. One of my favorite political character.— JR (@Benn_Hinson) January 7, 2021
Alban Bagbin is a fine, reasonable gentleman. His humongous parliamentary experience has fetched him many friends across the aisle. The NPP won't find him a difficult Speaker to work with. This is good for our democracy and we should be glad the "Winner takes all" lever is broken— PrInCe! (@PrinceBrobb) January 7, 2021
Congratulations to @ndccommbureau 's Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin. This is a position he'd do well having served in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th parliament. A feat that's unmatched.— Tutankhamun. (@Obiba_) January 7, 2021
His rich knowledge in parliamentary proceedings will come in handy.