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07.01.2005 General News

Minority reacts to the election of a new Speaker

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Accra, Jan. 7, GNA- Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, NDC MP for Lawra/Nandom has described the election of the new Speaker, Mr. Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes as a "record breaking feat in the sub-region as well as Africa because this is the first time an incumbent Speaker from a ruling party has been removed from office."

Dr. Kunbuor said: "it is only countries which have two legislatures that such a situation can happen and only when there is some misunderstanding between the two Houses that a Speaker can be changed". Dr. Kunbuor said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Parliament on Friday soon after the House had elected the new Speaker through a secret ballot.

The House by a majority vote of 134 to 96, elected Mr Sekyi Hughes in place of the former incumbent, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey.

According to Dr. Kunbuor, the House should have also retained Second Deputy Speaker, Mr. Kenneth Dzirasah because he had been in office for the past four years and has gained a lot of experience and was also competent.

Dr. Kunbuor said the election of Alhaji Malik Yakubu Al-Hassan, NPP MP for Yendi, as the new Second Deputy Speaker was because the NPP has the majority in Parliament.

This he said it had been using to its advantage.

"The long consultations and negotiations that took place before the election of the Speaker was due to the fact that the Majority presented the name and curriculum vitae of the Speaker-elect only last-night." Mr. John Tia, Minority Chief Whip in his reaction to the election of the new Speaker said the Minority's earlier walkout for consultations was the reflection of "our desire of not wanting to be stampeded by the Executive or push things down our throat."

He said the Minority in Parliament despite the election of the new Speaker, would be still meticulous in all the debates since it is their desire to serve the nation well.

"If the Speaker really means what he said that he will be impartial and fair then we don't have any problem with him."

The Minority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin said there was nothing wrong with the Minority nominating Mr Peter Ala Adjetey as the Speaker because by law, both sides of the House has the right to nominate anybody of their choice.

"My only problem was that I do not see any reason why Mr Ala Adjetey should be removed since he was doing well and the Majority also did not assign any reasons", he said.

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