The Sixth Parliament is expected to be dissolved at midnight on Friday, January 6, 2017, to pave way for the commencement of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic on the morning of Saturday, January 7, 2016.
With the present Speaker, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, coming from the side of the outgoing governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), it means the Seventh Parliament will have to elect a new Speaker that will preside over the House.
But first, the new Speaker will have to be appointed by the incoming government, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) before a decision will be taken over him by the lawmakers.
To look no further, Kasapafmonline.com has shortlisted three candidates who have distinguished themselves creditably in the August House, serving in various capacities before bowing out as lawmakers.
One of these three is likely to be appointed the next Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana.
Having practiced as a private lawyer and serving as Counsel for activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Sekondi born lawmaker, known by many as the Quite Dynamo, stepped up the plate to capture the Sekondi constituency seat away from the NDC in 1996.
Since then, he has embarked on a parliamentary career that has served to showcase other facets of his considerable talents.
He captured the public imagination as one of the most experienced and competent politicians in the nation.
When the NPP won the general elections in 2000, Papa Owusu Ankomah’s first official appointment was to the post of Deputy Majority Leader.
In this position, he was noted for his ability to both lead his party’s various constituencies and also to bring the opposition on board, when necessary, to ensure the passage of the President’s legislative agenda.
He was later elected by his peers as the Majority Leader of the House.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah can lay claim to being the most experienced legislator among the senior members of the Party today.
He has served on a number of Parliamentary committees – the Standing Committee on Subsidiary Legislation, the Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Finance Committee and the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, to name but a few.
Although Papa Owusu Ankomah did not contest in the party’s parliamentary primary, signalling an end to his illustrious parliamentary career, the position of the Speaker of the Legislature, Kasapafmonine.com understands, will be gladly welcomed if it comes his way.
The Acting National Chairman of the NPP, Frederick Worsemao Armah Blay is also highly tipped for the position looking at his in-depth knowledge in parliamentary affairs.
Blay, a lawyer and a politician was a Member of Parliament for the Ellembelle constituency on the ticket of the Convention People’s Party (CPP).
He served for over a decade (1997 – 2008) earning the nickname, “Ellembelle Mugabe”.
He rose through the ranks to become the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and First Deputy Speaker in the Third and Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
He lost his seat in the general elections held on December 7, 2008 to Mr. Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He later resigned from the CPP to the NPP after being criticised by some stalwarts of the cockerel family for not campaigning for then flag bearer of the party, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom and instead endorsing the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
With Mr. Blay’s vast experience in parliamentary affairs, it will not be surprise if he gets the nod.
Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye
One of the most highly tipped for the position of Speaker of Parliament is Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye.
The Political Science Professor entered into Parliament in 2005 and served for a period of two terms. He represented the people of Dome/Kwabenya.
He also rose through the ranks to become the Second Deputy Speaker in the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic having served on a number of committees.
He was Ghana’s High Commissioner to India from 2001 to 2004. He was appointed Minister of Energy from 2005 to 2006 and Minister of Communications from 2006 to 2009.
He had long cherished the position of a Speaker and so when he was elected as the Second Speaker of the House, he gladly welcomed it believing that not sooner than later, the substantive position may come his way when the NPP comes to power.
However, his decision not to contest the Dome/Kwabenya seat came to many as the end to his parliamentary career.
The NPP having won the last Wednesday’s general elections, and Prof. Mike Oquaye serving on the Advisory Board of the Transition Team with the current Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, Kasapafmonline.com will not be surprise if he is appointed to lead the Legislative arm of the incoming government.