The Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic on Friday elected Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes as the new Speaker of the House. By a majority vote of 134 to 96, the new Speaker defeated Mr Peter Ala Adjetey who has since 2000 been Speaker of the House. The House also retained Mr Freddie Blay as First Deputy Speaker whilst Mr Malik Yakubu Al-Hassan, MP for NPP-Yendi was elected as the new Second Deputy Speaker. He beat Mr Kenneth Dzirasah, MP (NDC) South Tongu, the former Second Deputy Speaker and choice of the Minority by a vote of 135 to 94. In his acceptance speech, Mr Sekyi Hughes thanked the House for the honour and privilege done him by electing him, saying: "Today is a great day for me." He promised to discharge his duties creditably, saying "I would do so with a minimum political impartiality..." Mr Sekyi Hughes promised to be accessible and said he would not take part in debates in the House in accordance with the Standing Orders. Mr Sekyi Hughes said he would exercise his duties in the House with justice and decorum. He praised Mr Ala Adjetey and wished him well in his future endeavours. It was all democracy at work earlier, when the new MPs had to go through secret voting after a long delay because of wrangling over who should take the Speaker's chair.
Mr Sekyi Hughes nominated by the Majority won by 134 to 96 to beat Mr Ala Adjetey, favourite of the Minority who nominated him. Mr Alban Bagbin, NDC MP for Nadowli West and Minority Leader, in his submission for the nomination of Mr Ala Adjetey said: "He was the most suited to chair as Speaker." He said Mr Ala Adjetey had ably led the House and endeared himself to many. He said in spite of the Minority's initial apprehension to his nomination in 2001, Mr Ala Adjetey had distinguished himself creditably both in and out of Parliament resulting in a commendation from President John Agyekum Kufuor in his recent address to Parliament.
"We see no reason advanced for his rejection," the Minority Leader said.
Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, NPP MP Akim-Swedru and Majority Leader, in his submission for the nomination of Mr Hughes read out his Curriculum vitae and said he had distinguished himself as a legal brain.
Mr Sekyi Hughes was born at Cape Coast in 1939 and was educated at Cape Coast Government Boys School, Adisadel College and the University of Ghana.
He was called to the Bar in 1966. Oath of a Speaker The following is the Oath of a Speaker to be sworn before the Chief Justice. I............do (in the name of the Almighty God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Republic of Ghana as by law established; that I will uphold the integrity of the Republic of Ghana; that I will faithfully and conscientiously discharge my duties as Speaker of Parliament; and that I will uphold, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; and that I will do right to all manner of persons in accordance with the Constitution of Ghana and the laws and conventions of Parliament without fear or favour, affection or ill-will. (So help me God).