Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has firmly stated that his speakership will not consist of anybody mounting any form of pressure on him, regardless of wherever it is coming from.
More specifically, he stated that he will not allow anybody under his reign to be used as a rubber stamp or to serve the purpose of being an obstructer for parochial interests.
He made this known in his opening address at the first sitting of the House since the chaotic scenes that broke out on the floor of Parliament on the morning of January 7, 2021.
Explaining the Parliament’s role in the constitutional system, he said that while the current arrangements show the country as a two-party structure and composition of the House, with the Speaker usually having the blessing of the incumbent president, the erroneous impression that government is entitled to have its way in Parliament will not be encouraged.
“And because this has been the Ghanaian public’s perception of how Parliament has conducted itself under various Administrations in the Fourth Republic, this current development of a House in which neither Party has a secure or dominating Majority, in other words, no Majority Party and no Minority Party, and of a Speaker who is not beholden to or endorsed by the President, is causing many of our citizens both in and out of Government, including in this House, a great deal of consternation,” he said.
He added that such arrangements have put people on edge, making the case that such a parliament can only be obstructionist.
“Regardless of which party has the upper hand in the House, it would be wrong to see Parliament’s role as either obstructing or rubberstamping Government’s agenda. Parliament’s role is to check-and-balance the Executive, not to obstruct or rubber stamp the Executive’s agenda.
“As Speaker, I will not yield to pressure from any quarter to allow this august House to be turned into a rubber stamp or an obstructer,” he explained.
Speaker Bagbin also brought a finality on the subject of which sides of the House will be the Majority and which would be the Minority. The NPP caucus, by dint of the decision of independent MP for Fomena to do business with them, becomes Majority caucus in Parliament.