Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, led the parliamentary session to glance through the history, of the 30-year celebration of parliamentary democracy of the 4th Republic.
The theme for the 30th anniversary celebration, was “30 years of parliamentary democracy in the Fourth Republic: the journey thus far”. The year-long celebration is being planned by a committee chaired by the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea.
The celebration will zone the country into six, programmes will be planned to improve upon the peculiarities of each of the six zones, Speaker Babgin revealed.
“We have set up a planning committee chaired by the Member of Parliament for Abuakwa South, Hon. Samuel Atta Akyea, to help navigate us through the celebrations. The activities of the committee would be coordinated by the Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah. I will urge that we all reflect on the theme as the programme of activities for the celebration unfolds.
“I am confident that we will participate fully in all the activities that will be planned. The year-long celebration will zone the country into six, with programmes planned to suit the peculiarities of each of the six zones. I must say, I am impressed with the preliminary work of the committee so far. In due course, this will be unveiled to all of you.”Alban Bagbin
Although Ghana has had eight successive elections and four government change-overs; between the two major political parties [NPP and NDC], in Mr. Bagbin’s view, the nation must focus on strengthening its democratic institutions, “if we want to have a sustainable democracy.” He claimed elections and successful government changeovers were not the only determinants of a working democracy.
“To most of you today, the Fourth Republic remains very dear, and rightly so. How we got here is history to you. In 1956, we jettisoned the 1957 Constitution, which was fashioned according to the Westminster model of parliamentary practice. We adopted our First Republican Constitution on 1st July, 1960. We then had military interruption between 1966 and 1969.
“The Second Republic, which was ushered in 1969, also got interrupted: that subsequently paved way for the Third Republic in 1979. In 1981, that was also truncated until 1992, when we had our Fourth Republican Constitution adopted through a referendum. It has been a journey of vicissitudes toward the peaceful democracy that we enjoy today.”Alban Bagbin
Speaking at the launch of the 30th anniversary celebration of parliamentary democracy in Ghana, held in the Chamber of Parliament today, the Speaker paid tribute to his predecessors since the fourth republic was birthed. He noted that past Speakers had been pivotal in strengthening the pillars of Ghana’s democracy through their contributions and sacrifices.
“I will want to mention the following: Rt. Hon. Daniel Francis Annan (late), the pioneering Speaker of the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic, who served from 7th January, 1993 to 6th of January, 2001. Rt. Hon. Peter Ala Adjetey (late), the Speaker of Parliament from the 7th January 2001, to the 6th January 2005. Rt. Hon. Ebenezer Begina Sekyi-Hughes was Speaker of Parliament from 7th January, 2005 to 6th January, 2009.
“Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adelaide Bamford-Addo, who was the Speaker of Parliament from 7th January, 2009 to 6th January, 2013. Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho was Speaker of Parliament from 7th January, 2013 to 6th January 2017. My immediate predecessor, the Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, who took over as the Speaker of Parliament on 7th January, 2017, and whom, I succeeded on 7th January, 2021.”Alban Bagbin
Alban Bagbin, brought to remembrance of all present that this made him, “the Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the 7th Speaker but of the 8th Parliament.” The first Speaker served two consecutive terms in the first and second parliaments of this republic.
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Annual Conference
He reminded lawmakers that Ghana had been chosen to host the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) annual conference, from 30th August to 6th September, 2023. According to him, the choice of Ghana to host the conference in itself, is proof of how the world sees and rates the nation’s Parliamentary democracy.
“Let me take this opportunity to remind us all that the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), will hold its annual conference here in Accra. The tentative date is from 30th August to 6th September, 2023. Selecting Ghana to host this prestigious conference in itself is an honor. Beyond that, it is proof of how the world sees and rates our parliamentary democracy.
“We have indeed come very far as a democratic country. We should keep this in mind, as we prepare to host the CPA in Accra. Let us put our ‘A’ Game on display; in whatever role we are assigned, so that at the end of the day, the CPA conference in Accra, will leave lasting memories on the minds of participants.”Alban Bagbin