Newly elected Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, has promised to discharge his duty with dignity and to the best of his abilities.
“I will submit myself to the will of this House, and pledge to serve my dear country to the best of my ability. I would have the singular honour and duty to proceed to perform all other duties. I would conscientiously discharge my duties as Speaker of this Parliament,” he assured.
Mr Bagbin was speaking on the floor of Parliament yesterday following his election as the Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
He promised to “wholeheartedly to put at the disposal of Parliament and the country the store of knowledge, immense experience and the huge data bank I have accumulated and accommodated over 28-years of being a member of this House.”
The former MP for Nadowli Kaleo becomes the first Speaker in the 4th Republic to be elected from an opposition party.
The longest serving Ghanaian MP polled 138 votes against his predecessor, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye, who had 136 votes, with one legislator failing to vote in an election that turned chaotic and lasting for over eight hours.
Confusion erupted at the Chamber of the House ahead of the election when opposition NDC MPs went to occupy the Majority side.
As if that was not enough, arguments about the eligibility of the Assin North MP-elect, James Gyakye Quayson, led to several hours of delay.
Again, confusion about the mode of voting led to a total halt of the process, creating confusion and leading to some NDC MPs snatching the ballot box and dismantling the erected polling booths meant for the election on about three different occasions.
When some calm returned, the secret vote was conducted, after which the Tema West MP-elect, Carlos Ahenkorah, also snatched ballots as they were being counted, throwing the House into another chaos.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his main contender in the 2020 general election, John Mahama, later congratulated Mr Bagbin for his election.
President Akufo-Addo further pledged his readiness to work with him in the advancement of Ghana’s development, saying “I want to assure you of my wholehearted determination to work with you to advance the peace, progress and prosperity of the Ghanaian people.”
“I must, at the outset, express my warm congratulations to my good friend and colleague of many years in this House, the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on his assumption of office as the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the 4th Republic. Nearly three decades of devoted service to Parliament by you has culminated in this moment, which has seen your elevation to the third great office of state of our nation,” the president added.
For his part, former President Mahama noted that the election of one of the oldest-serving MPs “affirms what a great democracy we can build for ourselves and how dialogue and consensus building can make us even stronger as a nation.”
Meanwhile, the MP for Bekwai, Joseph Osei Owusu, and the independent MP for Fomena, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, were elected first and second deputy speakers respectively.