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I’ll be apolitical and firm, says Bagbin

Alban Bagbin says he would not favour any political party in Parliament despite being a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress

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  • "The office I now occupy is impartial and nonpartisan of a political office. I will respect and obey, to respect and abide by the will of the House. I am fully committed to be fair and impartial and I’m also committed to be firm and resolute. Members must also respect and abide by my rulings."

Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has served notice to MPs he will be “firm and resolute” in the discharge of his duties, despite being a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Addressing the first session of the eighth parliament on Friday, Bagbin said he has sworn an oath to serve Ghanaians and not any political party, hence he will be impartial while presiding over proceedings in the House.

“There is no NPP Speaker or NDC Speaker,” the veteran legislator told the 275-seater Parliament, adding: “There is a Speaker of Ghanaians…”

He added: “I don’t take this oath likely at all. My destiny on this earth and the earth after is in my own hands.”

According to him, MPs must work towards winning the hearts of Ghanaians following the chaos which characterised the inauguration of the eighth parliament on 7 January.

Being the first opposition member to serve as Speaker in the Fourth Republic under a president of a different party, he called for consensus among members to ensure smooth running of government business.

“The office I now occupy is impartial and nonpartisan of a political office. I will respect and obey, to respect and abide by the will of the House. I am fully committed to be fair and impartial and I’m also committed to be firm and resolute. Members must also respect and abide by my rulings,” the former MP of Nadowli Kaleo emphasised.

Road to speaker

Bagbin won in closely contested secret ballot in Parliament against former Speaker, Prof Aaron Mike Oquaye.

He polled 138 votes against his predecessor’s 136 with one legislator failing to vote.

Profile of Bagbin

Bagbin was born on 24 September 1957, at Sombo in the Upper West Region. He started school at an early age at the Roman Catholic Primary School, Sombo, did his second cycle education at Wa Secondary School and ended at the Tamale Secondary School, where he earned his Ordinary Level and Advanced Level Certificates before entering the University of Ghana in 1977.

Bagbin is a graduate of the University of Ghana (1977-1980) and the Ghana School of Law (1980 -1982). He holds an Executive Masters in Governance and Leadership from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).

From 1980 to 1982, he worked at the Bureau of Statistics and Statistical Service as the Acting Secretary to the Statistical Service Board. He also worked as Personnel Manager of the erstwhile State Hotels Corporation. Mr. Bagbin practiced as private legal practitioner in a firm of legal practitioners, consultants and notaries public, as a partner.

He is currently the longest serving Member of Parliament, having served since 1993 when the first Parliament of the 4th Republic was inaugurated, to January 2021 when the 7th Parliament was dissolved.

He has held a number of positions in Parliament since 1994 and capped his law making career with the ultimate, the Majority Leader and Leader of the House. In the first Parliament of the Fourth Republic, he was made the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy and Member of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development.

In the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Mr. Bagbin was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with oversight responsibilities of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Electoral Commission, National Commission on Civic Education, Office of Parliament and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. He was also the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from 2001 to 2005. He was the Vice-Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

Speaker Bagbin was Health Minister in the Mills administration and became Majority Leader in Parliament in 2009. Following a cabinet reshuffle in January 2010, he was appointed Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing by President Atta Mills. Speaker Bagbin was Second Deputy Speaker of the 7th parliament which was dissolved at midnight on January 6, 2021.

On 7 January 2021, Mr. Bagbin was nominated and elected as Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the 4th Republic. He comes to the Office of Speaker with a wealth of experience on how Parliaments around the world function, having been an active participant of many international Parliamentary organizations.

He is very interested in the media and it’s development. He has contributed immensely to the development of the Parliamentary Press Corps. He enjoys music and reading and is an avid keeper of records.

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