The Rt. Hon. Speaker of the 8th Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, in his colourful Ghanaian kente cloth, launched the much anticipated 30th Anniversary Celebrations of Ghana’s Parliamentary democracy.
Recounting a brief history about the Fourth Republic, the Speaker noted that “in 1960 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 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”.
Commenting on the programmes lined up for the celebrations the Rt. Hon. Speaker mentioned that the yearlong celebrations will zone the country into six (6) zones where activities such as lectures, mock parliaments, football competitions, health walk among others would be organised.
The Speaker also used the opportunity to congratulate the past speakers of the Fourth Republic for their immense contribution towards Parliamentary Democracy.
He mentioned 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 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 Begyina Sekyi-Hughes Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2005 to 6th January 2009, Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Adelaide Bamford-Addo, the Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2009 to 6th January 2013, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2013 to 6th January 2017 and his immediate predecessor, the Rt. Hon. Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, who took over as the Speaker of Parliament on 7th January 2017.
In a speech read on behalf of the President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo by the Chief of State, Hon. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the President noted that it is for the good of the country that Parliament continues to develop the capacity to insist on accountability in all aspect of the lives of the people of Ghana, stressing that no institution is better suited for this than the representatives of the people.
“As President of the Republic, I assure you that, out of duty to our children and grandchildren, and to generations yet unborn, my government will do everything it can to help strengthen Parliament” he assured the House.
In his welcome address, the Clerk to Parliament, Mr. Cyril K. O. Nsiah, said the Parliamentary Service remains resolute in performing its non-partisan role of providing the requisite technical and procedural support services required by Parliament to execute its constitutional mandate.
“we will continue to emulate the rich culture, values and norms of independence, non-partisanship and diligence inherited from the lineage of experienced former Clerks to Parliament and former staff of the Service as we assiduously pursue organisational objectives and goals through the needed structural and institutional reforms to optimise our service delivery capacity in order to assist Hon. Members of Parliament carry out their functions” he indicated.
The Majority Leader, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and the Minority Leader Hon. Ato Forson, believed that even though 30 years of Parliamentary Democracy might seem relatively young and little to celebrate as compared to countries like United Kingdom and United States of America, considering where Ghana find it self with a number a parliamentary and constitutional crisis within West Africa, the 30th anniversary is worth celebrating.
The yearlong celebration is under the theme “Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy under the Fourth Republic; The Journey Thus Far”
The launch of the 30th anniversary celebrations which was done in the Chamber of Parliament, saw MPs from both sides of the House, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Staff of the Parliamentary Service and other invited guests dancing happily to the local musical melodies courtesy Voices of Democracy and the Ghana Armed Forces Band.
Source: Ghanatodayonline.com/Parliament Communications