The National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG) has called on the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin to lead the crusade for consensus building in the workings of the 8th Parliament.

According to the association, the Speaker with his vast rich experience acquired over the years, coupled with numerous engagements with Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders was the right person to ensure a united Parliament that was effective to play its legislative and oversight roles.

“We are aware of your rich experience as a Member of Parliament (MP) for 28 years, a majority leader and a minority leader of Parliament. Your experience cut across the ECOWAS region and the continent of Africa. We therefore have every reason to believe that you will steer the affairs of the 8th Parliament to the admiration of all”.

Mr Bismark Baise Nkum, President of NALAG made the observation at a press briefing in Accra to congratulate the newly sworn-in Speaker, Alban Bagbin and the 275 MPs of the 8th Parliament of Ghana.

The association also used the opportunity to congratulate Mr Joseph Osei Owusu and Mr Andrews Amoako Asiamah for their election as the First and Second Deputy Speakers of Parliament respectively.

Mr Nkum also expressed the hope that the two Deputy Speakers would together compliment the effort of the Speaker to achieve the legislative objective of the 8th Parliament.

He encouraged the parliamentarians to work together in the interest of Ghana by burying their partisan differences and lifting the flag of Ghana high.

“As an Association, we acknowledged the milestone that Ghana has achieved over the years, which has made us a beacon of democracy in Africa and the world at large. More significantly, having almost a hanged Parliament with an independent member as a decider, this would be a great test to advance our enviable parliamentary democracy”.

Mr Nkum also noted with displeasure several incidents that disrupted the process leading to the election and inauguration of the Speaker and members of the 8th Parliament including; the snatching of ballot box, kicking of election booths and verbal and physical abuse by some members.

He said the incident to some extent dented the image of members and the institution of parliament to engage in such activities that denigrated the beauty of Ghana’s democracy.

He therefore called on the leadership of both the NDC and NPP to call their members to order, saying the violence that occurred prior to election of the Speaker must be condemned in no uncertain terms and without any political colour.