The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin has denied claims that his affiliation with the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will affect the administration of his duties as Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
Addressing the House at the second sitting on Friday, Mr Bagbin pledged to remain firm and fair in his new role.
He stressed that throughout his political career, he has worked impartially with both sides people regardless of their political affiliation, as such he will maintain those same principles of independence and impartiality as the leader of the legislative arm of government.
“Much has been said of the fact that I come to this position [Speaker] from a long career as a politician and member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); one of the two parties represented in this House. But as far as I am concerned that fact is of no consequence to my new role as speaker.
“In fact, it is not a novelty in this House. I myself, have worked harmoniously with Speakers with diverse political backgrounds including on one occasion supporting the nomination for re-election as Speaker of the Fourth Republic, a well-known Speaker of the New Patriotic Party,” he stressed.
He emphasized the fact that the Speakership position parliament is not a partisan-political office.
“Regardless of which party nominated or voted to elect him or her, and regardless of his or her previous political background, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana occupies a nonpartisan, impartial office,” he stated.
Referring to his oath taken on the assumption of his role as speaker, Mr Bagbin pledged to “do right to all manner of persons in accordance with the Constitution and the laws and conventions of Parliament without fear or favour, affection or ill will”.
In view of his affiliation with the opposition NDC as MP for the Nadowli West constituency for 7 terms under the Fourth Republic, some have suggested that his role as Speaker may be coloured along his party lines.
However, addressing the Members of Parliament in the second sitting of the House, he stressed that his sole intention is to live by the oath he swore to when he was elected.
“I intend to live by the Oath I swore on the occasion of my election to this office, to respect, obey and abide by the will of the House. I am fully committed to being fair and impartial,” he said emphatically.
Mr Bagbin makes history for being the first Speaker of Parliament who is not selected by the governing party.