The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, has noted that the results of the December 7 general election suggest that Ghanaians “have signaled their frustration with and disapproval of the ‘Party First’ mindset.
According to him, the unbridled partisanship and partisan polarization that have taken root in the country’s politics “are giving our option of multi-party democracy a bad name.”
Delivering his first speech on the floor of Parliament on Friday, Mr Bagbin said he “would like to believe also that the first indication that this message may have begun to sink is the very fact of my election as Speaker of Parliament, despite not being the nominee or preference of those Members whose party’s flagbearer has been declared by the Chair of the Electoral Commission as President-elect.”
He called on Members of Parliament to prioritize the needs and concerns of the country above the parochial interest of anyone or political party.
“The People of Ghana are demanding sound and effective solutions to their everyday problems, needs, frustrations, anxieties, and fears. The youth in particular want to be inspired, motivated and given hope for a better future of unlimited opportunities.
“They want this country to grow and to prosper; to realize and live up to its full potential; to use its bountiful resources to deliver opportunity and generate prosperity and hope for its peoples. And they are entitled to no less,” he said.
He urged MPs not to lose sight of the work they must do in the house to better the lives of Ghanaians.
“You and I would do well to refer to the Directive Principles of State Policy, contained in Chapter Six of the Constitution. The Directive Principles of State Policy stands as a constant reminder to us of what duty Parliament, and Members owe, individually and collectively, to our dear Country and its People.
“In swearing fidelity to the Constitution, as we did on the occasion of our respective assumptions of office, what we undertook to do, at a minimum, is to use the public power, the privilege, and the associated opportunities and resources entrusted to us in ways and for purposes that would bring us closer as a Nation to realizing the ambitions, goals, principles, and policies we have set for ourselves in Chapter Six of the Constitution,” he said.
Mr Bagbin used the occasion to express his abhorrence, “both as a former Member of this Parliament and a citizen of this great nation, at the rather unruly behaviour and commotion that took place on the floor of this House”.
According to the Speaker, actions of MPs on the night was a “despicable conduct unbecoming of people of honour.”
“What makes it worse is the total absence of justification or reasonable excuse. As Speaker, I would like to believe that the spectacle of that historic day would not be repeated. Certainly not on my watch. I take a strong exception to such conduct and behaviour and urge leadership to take a serious view of it and take the necessary measures to restore the lost dignity of the august House. It is at variance with the message of the 2020 general elections,” he added.