Wednesday, June 16, 2021

ECOWAS Parliament will Ensure Women Issues are Fully Addressed – Speaker Sidie Tunis

By Clement Akoloh The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Right Honorable Mohamed Sidie Tunis, has given assurance that the West African regional Legislative body would...
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Some female Members of Ghana’s Parliament have urged the men in the country to stay away from the breast of their nursing wives during the recommended exclusive six months nursing period.

The men are being blamed for the dip in the country’s exclusive breastfeeding rate within the last decade.

According to the MPs, the breastmilk is an exclusive preserve of the newly born baby who needs it to build his or her immune system from diseases and for growth. Regrettably however, the men are always found to be in some sort of competition with the baby over the breast of the mother.

The female Legislators made the comment in a contribution to a statement made on the Floor of Parliament on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 by the MP for Keta, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

The Breastfeeding Promotion Regulations, 2000

According to the maker of the statement, even though Ghana adopted the International Code and enacted the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulations 2000 (LI1667), lack of enforcement has allowed the commercial interest of breastmilk producing and distributing companies to overshadow and undermine breastfeeding, optimal infant and young child feeding, and health of children and women.

“The country’s exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rate increased from 2% in 1988 to 63% in 2008, an achievement which has since been eroded with the EBF rate currently being 43%, after dropping from the 2014 rate of 52%,” he said in his statement.

Contributions on the Floor

In her contribution to the statement, the MP for Tanor North and Former Deputy Gender Minister, Freda Akosua Prempeh blamed the men for the decline in the exclusive breastfeeding rate in the country.

She said, “the men should give the women a break in order to allow their new born babies to enjoy their breast milk in peace when they start nursing.”

Okaikwe North MP, Thereza Lardi Awuni on her part, re-emphasized the point that the men are guilty since they continue to compete with their children for the breast of their mothers. She urged them to keep off the breast.

The MP for Ketu North, Dzifa Abla Gomashie, advocated for the leave period to be extended for nursing mothers to enable them honour the recommended exclusive six months breastfeeding period. She also recommended that men should be given paternity leave to help their nursing wives to take care of their children during the nursing period.

However, on her part, the MP for Ada and Deputy Minority Whip, Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah said some women are also to blame for refusing to breastfeed their babies for required period for fear that their breast would sag too early.

She used herself as an example to call on the women to stop protecting their breast from sagging and rather think about the health and growth of their children. “I have fed six children with my breast yet they are still standing. These young ladies should stop protecting their breast for fear of losing the firmness which attracts the men.”

She also urged the men to give the women a break when they start nursing their children because it is not easy for the women during the nursing period.

The Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi who was one of the few men who contributed to the statement on the Floor, came to the rescue of the men. He rather attributed the decline in the exclusive breastfeeding policy in the country to the quest of women to keep their breast in shape for their men.

He said, “Because most men like breast that are standing, the women are refusing to breastfeed their children in order to keep it in shape for the men. The men are not the cause for the decline in the breastfeeding rate.”

At the end of the statement, the Speaker referred it to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health for consideration and report.

Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has released a list of 19 Cabinet Ministers to assist him in the determination of the general policy of Government in accordance with Article 76 of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana.

Conspicuously missing in the list are some Ministerial portfolios which are considered important for the state, including the National Security Minister, Albert Kan Dapaa in the mist of recent concerns of insecurity in the sub-region including the neighboring country, Burkinafaso.

It has even been suggested that, matters of youth unemployment, food security and housing are potential sources of insurrections which equally border on national security. The concern therefore is that, the failure of the National Security Minister to make the cut for Cabinet Ministers could be an expensive gamble for the Government.

Mention has also been made of other Ministerial portfolios such as Information; Communication; Environment, Science and Innovation; and Roads and Highways among others who failed to make the list.

Reading a communication from the President on the Floor of Parliament on Thursday, June 10, 2021, the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Bagbin, said the full list of the Cabinet as prescribed by the Constitution has been duly satisfied by the President.

According to Article 76 (1) of the Constitution, “There shall be a Cabinet which shall consist of the President, the Vice- President and not less than ten and not more than nineteen Ministers of State.”

Out of the 19 Ministers of State of the Cabinet, 12 of them are sitting Members of Parliament which satisfies the constitutional injunction which requires that not less than 50 percent of them should come from Parliament.

The list includes: Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta; Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul; Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey; Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame; Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto; Minister for Energy, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Minister for Education, Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum; and Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu.

The rest of the names on the list are: Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; Minister for Local Government, Decentralization and Rural Development, Daniel Botwe; Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor; Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah; Minister for Railway Development, John Peter Amewu; Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah; Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Mavis Hawa Koomson; Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Alhaji Ibrahim Awal Mohammed; and Minister for Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye.

Source: Clement Aakoloh||parliamentnews360.com

[post_date_unix] => 1623348893 [post_date] => June 10, 2021 [post_modified] => June 10, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/national-security-minister-and-others-missing-in-prez-akufo-addos-cabinet/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [759] => Array ( [post_id] => 759 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 760 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/enforce-breastfeeding-code-to-generate-us594m-for-ghana-and-save-over-us5-8m-keta-mp/ [post_title] => Enforce Breastfeeding CODE to Generate US$594M for Ghana and Save Over US$5.8M – Keta MP [post_title_attribute] => Enforce Breastfeeding CODE to Generate US$594M for Ghana and Save Over US$5.8M – Keta MP [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

The Government of Ghana could generate for itself 594 million dollars within a year and also save a whopping amount of 5.8 million dollars for the economy, if only the country would commit to the enforcement of the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulations 2000 (LI1667) which ensures the creation of an enabling environment for optimal infant feeding.

The enforcement of this law would ensure that mothers receive accurate information about breastfeeding and limit the use of Breastmilk Substitutes (BMS) to only medically indicated situations by putting an end to promotional activities such as distribution of free Breastmilk Substitutes.

The provisions of the law which derives its source from the International Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes (otherwise known as the CODE), also includes limiting interactions between health staff and company agents thereby creating a safer environment for breastfeeding.

The issue gained relevance on the Floor of Parliament on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 when the Member of Parliament for Keta constituency in the Volta region, Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, made a statement to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes which was adopted by the 34th World Health Assembly in May 1981 to address aggressive marketing tactics by the infant and young child feeding industry.

The MP who was a Public Health worker before becoming a Legislator, urged Health Authorities and law enforcement agencies in Ghana to help promote exclusive breastfeeding in the country in order to reap its invaluable health benefits and to generate some extra funds for the economy in these COVID-19 times where several countries around the world are going through economic hardship and difficulties.

“Recent studies show that optimal breastfeeding can save Ghana over US$ 5.8 million. This amount of money can be spent on healthcare costs and can generate more than US$ 594 million for the economy, which is nearly 1.5% of Ghana’s gross net income through having a healthier population.

In addition, optimal breastfeeding prevents 3,774 deaths of babies and 302 maternal deaths from cancers and type II diabetes each year (UN Ghana Report, 2020).”

According to him, apart from the fact that breastfeeding is vital to a child’s lifelong nutrition, health and wellbeing, it has some economic benefits to families and the country as a whole since it prevents illnesses and thereby reduces out of pocket expenditures to treat diarrhoea and pneumonia among others.

Speaking in an interview with parliamentnews360.com outside the chamber of Parliament, Hon. Gakpey appealed to the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, as well as the Food and Drugs Authority to ensure that Ghana’s Breastfeeding Promotion Regulations 2000 is enforced to the latter.

The CODE is generally aimed to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants by protecting and promoting breastfeeding, and by ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes by restricting promotions that target the general public, mothers and health workers.

The CODE also provides the policy framework designed to stop commercial interests from activities that decrease the practice of exclusive breastfeeding and threatening the health and nutrition of the young children.

Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com

[post_date_unix] => 1623268465 [post_date] => June 9, 2021 [post_modified] => June 9, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/enforce-breastfeeding-code-to-generate-us594m-for-ghana-and-save-over-us5-8m-keta-mp/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [751] => Array ( [post_id] => 751 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 753 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/rotation-of-pap-presidency-cant-wait-for-any-ratification-hon-julius-malema/ [post_title] => Rotation of PAP Presidency can’t Wait for any Ratification – Hon. Julius Malema [post_title_attribute] => Rotation of PAP Presidency can’t Wait for any Ratification – Hon. Julius Malema [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

By Melvin Tejan Mansaray

Speaking during the plenary debate on the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Activity Report presented by Acting PAP President, Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, Honorable Julius Malema, a Member of the South African Parliament’s Delegation to the PAP unrepentantly stressed the notion for equity and fairness as enshrined in the African Union (AU) principle of Rotation for the President and Vice President positions of the Continental Parliament.

Hon. Malema said that the Parliament must agree in the first place that the principle of rotation is not a principle of sharing power adding that certain people think that they must have power over others.

“The principle of rotation is to unite the continent and if we are concerned about the unity of the continent then we would not have a problem about the principle of rotation. We must first understand its purpose. If you have a problem with the type of candidature that Southern Africa is presenting, for instance, you will rather say, we agree with the rotation and therefore we suggest that the North will take. Let the debate be about which regions have not received and which regions will you support. Not that the regions who have not received must wait for some ratification to apply a principle that seeks to unite the Continent,” Hon. Malema said.

He continued that the forefather that came before them wanted to eliminate an unnecessary contestation amongst Africans by coming up with a democratic principle which will cover all the regions.

He said: “If you are concerned about the unity of this Continent and you are not serving the interest of the imperialists and colonialists you will never have a difficulty on the application of a principle that will unite Africans and that is what this vote is about.”

He noted that it is so embarrassing that former leaders of PAP can do everything in their power to divide the institution and undermine the legitimacy of it.

“You can use your majority and keep this power and this presidency in your regions, and if that is the unity of Africa that you are talking about, that power must only circulate in your regions go on with it but be aware that you are serving the interest of imperialism that seeks to keep us divided. The unity of this Continent will not wait for ratification of any form. The unity of this Continent needs us to apply it as in yesterday. We don’t require any ratification of anything for us to be united and anyone who says that we require ratification that person does not know what unity is about. Unity is about us coming together with a paper or no paper,” Hon. Malema said.

It could be recalled that the PAP on 18 May 2017 in Midrand, South Africa adopted the Resolution on the Rotation of the Presidency of the PAP. It noted that that the principle of rotating the office of the President of the PAP is not prescribed in the basic texts of the Parliament but recognized the fact that this principle is expressly mentioned in the amended Protocol of the PAP (article 12.1) adopted by the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on 27 June 2014 amongst other things.

Paragraphs five and six of the Resolution stated that: “ Recognizing that African Union respects the practice of rotating the presidency of its Organs;
Accordingly decides that the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament be amended in accordance with the provisions of Rule 93 to include the Principle of Rotation of the Office of the President of the Pan-African Parliament.”

However, there are divergent views on the implementation of this principle for which the Hon. Malema is agitated against its opponents.

However, the election of the PAP President and Vice Presidents is slated for Thursday 27 May 2021 at 2 pm.

Africanewsradio.com

[post_date_unix] => 1622286750 [post_date] => May 29, 2021 [post_modified] => May 29, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/rotation-of-pap-presidency-cant-wait-for-any-ratification-hon-julius-malema/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [739] => Array ( [post_id] => 739 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 740 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/ghana-parliament-yet-to-decide-on-hon-okudzetos-resignation-speaker/ [post_title] => Ghana: Parliament Yet to Decide on Hon. Okudzeto’s Resignation – Speaker [post_title_attribute] => Ghana: Parliament Yet to Decide on Hon. Okudzeto’s Resignation – Speaker [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

Ghana’s Parliament is yet to decide on the resignation of the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzato Ablakwa, from the Appointment Committee of Parliament, following the approval of the nomination of Ken Ofori-Atta as Minister of Finance.

The Member of Parliament officially wrote to the Speaker of Parliament just a few days before the last recess of Parliament to announce his resignation from the Committee on the grounds that the House’s approval of the President’s nominee was “against his personal principles and values.”

The Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Sumana Bagbin told Parliament on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 during his opening remarks of the Second Meeting of the Eight Parliament that, he had forwarded the resignation letter to the Committee on Selection for consideration and report since it would have been prejudicial for him to have accepted the resignation of the Honourable Member without the consent of the Committee.

“By the rules of the House, my acceptance of his resignation would have been ultra-vires for my position and powers as a Speaker of Parliament. It was however, procedurally intra-vires for my position as the chairman of the Committee of Selection.

“Acting for and on behalf of the Committee, I accordingly received the letter on behalf of and for the consideration of the Committee which is duty bound to prepare, compose and present a report on the standing and select committees of the House for your approval,” he said.

According to the Speaker, the Committee which he summoned during the recess period to sit on the matter is yet to furnish the House with the report on its consideration of the letter.

“The Members of the Committee were also recalled from recess to consider the purported resignation … of the Honourable Member. The Committee would soon finalize and present its report to the House for consideration. I will not preempt the outcome of the committee.”

In a letter dated March 30, 2021, and addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, the Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa explained that his decision to quit as a member of the committee came “after days of reflection and thoughtful considerations”, and that the “reasons for this difficult decision is both personal and on principle.”

He also indicated that the resignation was with immediate effect and that he would not be available for the vetting of the President’s nominees for Deputy Ministerial appointments to execute his second term mandate.

According to unofficial sources, the MP was of the view that Mr. Ofori Atta had performed abysmally as the Minister for Finance in the First term of President Akufo-Addo and ought not to be given a second opportunity to aggravate the situation.

It was further alleged that, though the Minority Members on the Committee agreed with him on the performance of the Minister, they disagreed with him on the rejection of his approval. They rather insisted that, since he was the one who had allegedly messed up the economy, he should be made to fix it by himself.

Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com

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The Minority group in Ghana’s Parliament has identified financial crisis, political interference and mismanagement in the energy sector by the Akufo-Addo Government as the true reasons for the current intermittent power outages in the country which is popularly referred to as “dumsor”.

Addressing a press conference in Parliament on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, the Minority Spokesperson on Mines and Energy, John Abu Jinapor said the energy sector was in a deep crisis and that officialdom has not been candid with the people on the true state and cause of the current power outages being experienced in the country.

According to him, the NPP government has completely derailed the successes chalked under the erstwhile NDC government under former President Mahama and dissipated the resources the previous government bequeathed to this government.

“It is a well-known fact especially among energy sector players that the current outages in the country is due to financial challenges and not because of technical challenges as being claimed by GRIDCo and Government officials.

“This is because the transmission lines and transformers are congested due to under investment and lack of regular maintenance arising from the poor financial health of the energy sector SOEs.

“From the forgoing it is obvious the current load shedding (Dumsor) being inflicted on Ghanaians is as a result of mismanagement and unnecessary political interference by the Akufo-Addo Government in the management of the Energy sector,” he said.

According to the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy, government’s attempt to deceive Ghanaians with incoherent excuses and explanations by government officials and contradictory statements by political attaches are part of the problems facing the sector.

“It should be noted that since the beginning of the year, GRIDCo alone has given six different reasons for the major national outages aside the intermittent localized blackouts, with the most ridiculous reason being attributed to trees falling on high tension transmission lines.

“As if that was not enough, the ECG, GRIDCO and the Hon. Minster has been providing conflicting timelines on when this debilitating power crisis will be resolved,” he said.

Ghana has been experiencing some intermittent power outages since the beginning of the year 2021. However, the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), the country’s main power transmission company has explained that though it was facing some system challenges which triggered a system shut down, the current shut downs being experienced are as the result of an ongoing maintenance and repair works on a number of its equipment and plants.

The Minority group has then proposed 10 solutions towards ensuring reliable and uninterrupted supply of power in the country including: The Publication of a power outage timetable across the country; Government cutting down on wasteful expenditure and Inject capital into the power sector especially GRIDCo; Government desisting from political interference in the management of the Energy sector by political appointments; and a recommendation for Government and its communicators to desist from engaging in the propaganda on excess capacity and come out with a formula for absorbing capacity charges as part of operating cost.

In addition, the Minority proposes that “Power sector managers must ensure that they pursue Long term planning to ensure fuel security for generating assets at the least cost possible; Government must allow Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to take the responsibility for their fuel supply requirements; Immediate steps must be taken to aggressively address ECG’s spiralling technical and commercial losses currently estimated by its worker unions at 34%; The Ministry of Energy must conduct a comprehensive reconciliation of the total indebtedness of all players including government and its SOEs including (GNPC, GNGC, VRA, GRIDCo, CENIT, ECG, NEDCo) in a transparent manner.

“The Ministry of finance must take steps to utilize the $1 billion sovereign bond borrowed in 2020 to address the financial challenges of the Energy sector; Government must ensure that Energy sector SOEs Publish details of their financial statements including details and ageing of their indebtedness as well as debts owed to them on time; and finally, Government must come clean on the current power crisis as a matter of urgency and desist from engaging in blame games.”

Adding that Shifting blame and providing conflicting information only goes to exacerbate the crisis which is threatening lives and businesses across the country.

Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com

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The events of January 7, 2021, which culminated into that historic election that made me the Speaker of the House of Parliament of the whole of Ghana, are incredible indeed. I saw, I recognized, and I accept the hand of God in that process. And the said hand, guarded the rather rancorous and contumacious process and behavior of the Members of Parliament, and that hand made sure that I emerged victorious."

These were the touching words of Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Speaker of the 8th Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, when he addressed the people at a thanksgiving service in his hometown in the Nadowli Kaleo constituency, at his birth place in the Sombo village in the Upper West region of Ghana.

“A miracle to many. A miracle which saw families and all Ghanaians in a very vigilant vigil, glued to their television sets that whole night and day. I consider it fitting to celebrate two days of devotion like this. One which I did in Accra, and the other in my birth place Sombo in acknowledgement of those favors and wonders and all the prayers and good wishes of all Ghanaians that night up to early in the morning.

The emotionally charged Speaker, who was struggling to maintain a formal composure in front of the congregation of dignitaries from far and near that had gathered to celebrate his thanksgiving service with him. The thanksgiving mass was meant to mark his successful election as the Speaker of Parliament under very unique circumstances.

While he was still addressing the people, he paused momentarily, as though he had missed a line from his script, raised up his head and fixed his gaze upwards as if he was addressing someone in the ceiling of the building and exclaimed:

“Oh God! Why have you bestowed this heavy responsibility and honour on me? My House as you’ve all seen now, the land of my birth is here in Sombo in the Nadowli Kaleo District in the Upper West Region.

“It is from here that the Lord called me to devote my life in service to my people. I responded to that call and for almost three decades and still counting, I have been a servant of my people. The Lord has expanded the remit of my service to mankind to include the entire country, and for that, I am extremely grateful.

“This is the reason why I deem it fit and proper to come home and to give thanks to my creator and my people on whose votes and confidence and trust, I rode to be where I am today. I also deem it fit and proper to come home to give thanks and praises to my creator for the favors and bountiful blessings I have always received from Him.

“It is not because I am the most intelligent; it is not because I am the most capable; it is not because I am the most experienced; it is just by the grace of the almighty God. And this, I don’t take lightly and I will continue to unceasingly praise Him for what He has done to me.”

The Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Sumana Kinsford Bagbin, who has spent over three decades of his political life serving his people in Parliament in different capacities such as the Minority Leader, a Majority leader and now as the speaker of Parliament.

Before he became the Speaker, he was the Second Deputy Speaker of the 7th Parliament and the longest serving MP and the only surviving pioneering MPs since the first Parliament of the Fourth Republic which begun in January, 1993. When he decided not to seek re-election in the 2020 election, luck smiled on him and he was elected Speaker.

He is the first Ghanaian Speaker to be elected outside the party of the ruling government and the first Speaker in the Fourth Republic to superintend over a hung parliament of equal number of seats between the two main political parties of 137 seats for the ruling NPP and 137 seats for the opposition NDC, with one independent candidate who has joined the ruling party to form the Majority Group.

Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com

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The Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin, has assured that as long as he remains the Speaker, he will ensure that the right things are done to satisfy the aspirations and expectations of the people with respect to political conduct and governance.

According to him, the yearnings of the citizenry to have solutions to the challenges that confront them on the personal and at the national level on a daily basis, can never be lost on him now as a Speaker since he can personally identify with those challenges; himself, haven risen through these humble beginnings to his present position as the Speaker of Parliament.

“Problems of inequality, a raging health pandemic that has become the new normal, the state of deprivation, instability in the sub-region, global problems of isolationism, civil strife, discrimination, migration challenges among others, continue to confront us all as a people. I can assure you that the Parliament of Ghana, under my leadership, will not shirk its responsibility when it comes to these issues,” Mr. Speaker said.

Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana Bagbin made the remark in a keynote address at a thanksgiving mass at his birth place at Sombo, in the Nadowli Kaleo constituency in the Upper West region, to celebrate his successful election as the 8th Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.

The Speaker, however urged Ghanaians to be patient with them and understand the processes as they go through the processes to ensure that their aspirations and expectations are fulfilled.

“What we will want from all Ghanaians is patience and understanding. Criticism is good, so feel free to criticize when the need arises, but do so by first seeking to understand the issues at stake and the developments in relation to them. This is because what meets the eye is not always what the real issue is,” he explained.

The Right Honourable Speaker is the first Ghanaian Speaker to be elected outside the party of the ruling government and the first Speaker in the Fourth Republic to superintend over a hung parliament of equal number of seats between the two main political parties of 137 seats for the ruling NPP and 137 seats for the opposition NDC, with one independent candidate who has joined the ruling party to form the Majority Group.

This has been classified as a novelty in the country’s history and the 8th Parliament has further been marked as a tipping point for the country’s democratic experimentation and hence the high expectation of the people for this Parliament to live up to expectation and to justify the confidence placed in them.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who joined the Speaker for the thanks giving service, indicated that the journey in the 8th Parliament so far has not been easy for him and the Speaker since the expectation of the people has been huge and daunting.

He however added that, it is only the Rt. Hon. Speaker Alban Bagbin, who has been prepared by God to navigate the difficult situation they country finds itself at this time of a hung Parliament and an Executive President from a different political party.

“It has not been easy for me personally, neither has it been for Mr. Speaker. To the extent that some have had to even question our reputation and integrity even as we walk forward. But let them be reminded that I am only successful as the Minority Leader, to the extent that I can wax and influence minimum cooperation from the Majority, not standing alone.

“Mr. Speaker again, that reminds me that you are Speaker of a hung Parliament, 137:137 plus 1. Mr. Speaker, as Naa Seidu captured it; your task is unique, at the same time challenging and daunting. You are Speaker to a Parliament which is 137:137, with an Executive President from a different political party.

"It is only you that can help navigate Ghana through the difficult waters of cooperation and compromises in the best interest of Ghana and in the best of the pursuit of the public interest of Ghana,” said, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu.

Source: Clement Akoloh||parliamentnews360.com

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The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin has stated categorically that while Ghana will not make any laws that will infringe on people's rights, the country will be sure to pass laws that will protect the country’s values, traditions, culture, religion and principles.

The Speaker made this known when the Australian High Commissioner, Gregory Andrews paid a courtesy call on him.

In his remarks, High Commissioner Gregory Andrews, known for his keen interest in our culture and food, spoke about the rich Ghanaian culture he has enjoyed since he's been in the country, and said it has had a positive image on his family.

The Members of Parliament at the meeting praised the Commissioner for his passion on climate change and how Australia has supported Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the midst of the Pandemic.

The Commissioner was urged to complete the sports facilities Australia promised Ghana and also enhance the Youth Ambassador Project were people within the ages of 18 – 30 can travel to Australia for educational purposes

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