The Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has nominated the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban S. K. Bagbin, for Speaker in the eighth Parliament.
The nomination of the current MP for Nadowli-Kaleo followed the FEC meeting in Accra yesterday.
It also retained its leadership for the eighth Parliament, nominating the current Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, as the Majority Leader; the Deputy Minority Leader, Dr James Klutse Avedzi, as the Deputy Majority Leader and the Minority Chief Whip, Mr Mohammed-Mubarak Muntaka, as the Majority Chief Whip.
The others are the First Deputy Minority Whip, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed, as the First Deputy Majority Whip and the Second Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe, as the Second Deputy Majority Whip.
Shedding light on the development, the Director of Communications of the NDC, Mr Kakra Essamuah, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that per the current composition of the Members of Parliament (MPs)-elect for the eighth Parliament, the NPP had no right to claim that it were in the majority because both the NDC and the NPP had 137 MPs each. “It is for this reason that the NDC is presenting its Minority leadership as the majority and it is on the day of voting that the majority will be decided,” he stated.
He indicated that the Independent MP-elect was not an NPP member, thus could not side with the party. He said, however, the Independent member reserved the right to only decide to vote either way during voting on the floor of Parliament.
Mr Bagbin, who is currently the longest-serving Member of Parliament in the Fourth Republic, entered the House from obscurity as he was only known by his colleague lawyers during his private practice from his law firm, Law Trust. He was first voted to represent his constituency, then known as Nadowli North, in the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic during the 1992 election which was boycotted by the major opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), after it lost the presidential election.
Since 1992, the Nadowli-Kaleo MP, has been returned to Parliament by massive votes even though he had to face other contestants from within his own party and other parties. As an ordinary Member of Parliament in 1992, he rose through the ranks of the NDC as a result of hard work to the position of Minority Leader when the NDC lost the election to the NPP in 2000.
In 2012, when the NDC was returned to power under former President John Evans Atta Mills, he was named as the Majority Leader. He has served on several committees of the House, including the Subsidiary Legislation and Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
The National Executive Council of the NPP last Monday unanimously nominated Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye for the position of Speaker of Parliament for the second consecutive time. If he gets the approval of the Eighth Parliament, Prof. Oquaye, who is a three-time Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome Kwabenya, will become the second Speaker, after the late Justice Daniel Francis Annan, to serve two terms as Speaker of Parliament.
The council also settled on Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame, as the Majority Leader, for the second time running, with the three-time MP for Effutu, Mr Alex Afenyo Markins, being pencilled in as the Deputy Majority Leader.
Others are Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, the re-elected MP for Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Chief Whip; Ms Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Deputy Chief Whip, to be assisted by the first-time MP-elect for Tolon, Mr Habib Iddrisu.