Mr Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has reiterated the need to safeguard Ghana’s burgeoning democracy.
He therefore urged all those in positions of influence and active service to the Ghanaian people to make a conscious effort in that regard.
Speaker Bagbin made the remarks at the maiden Speaker’s Seminal Lecture Series on the theme “Parliament, its Business and the Supreme Court in Perspective.”
The lecture was aimed at furthering the conversation around strengthening Ghana’s democratic institutions.
The goal of the lecture was to look at the concept of separation of powers, particularly the independence of Parliament in the light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Justice Abdulai versus Attorney-General and the applicability of the political question doctrine in Ghana’s jurisprudence.
Mr Bagbin said since the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution, the three equal, separate and co-ordinate arms of government had discharged their duties and responsibilities, albeit with some challenges, by the textual requirements of the constitution; adding that at the core of the constitution was an underlying theme of separation of powers.
“The 8th Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana is perhaps like no other Parliament we have seen in our history as a country,” the Speaker said.
“The razor-thin Majority, made a majority by just one person enjoyed by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) as a result of the decision of the independent MP (Member of Parliament) for Fomena and Second Deputy Speaker to caucus with them, has thrown up a lot of issues not previously seen under the tenure of other Parliaments.”
He said admittedly, Parliament had on some occasions not discharged itself creditably and its conduct had not been flattering on Ghanaian as a functional democracy; declaring that “however, important steps have been and are being taken to ensure constructive ways of dialogue and consensus are pursued the benefit of us all”.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, urged the House to ensure that the Speaker’s Seminal Lecture Series was institutionalized as part of efforts in deepening Ghana’s democracy.
Professor Kofi Abotsi, Dean of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Law School, who delivered the keynote address said the judiciary was the least dangerous arm of Government because it had a shield and not a sword.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area, who chaired the function, hailed Speaker Bagbin for his sincerity and integrity.
The event was attended by the First Deputy Speaker Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, MPs, members of the diplomatic community and some leading members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) such as Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, National Chairman and Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the General Secretary.