The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, does not want people to expect him to be neutral in the discharge of his duties.
Speaking during a visit by the Council of State, Mr. Bagbin said, “in the performance of my functions, I will be impartial, but that doesn’t mean I will be neutral.”
While he said he has “good friends on the other side of the political divide”, the Speaker added that “I don’t expect either party to be praising me.”
This notwithstanding, Mr. Bagbin admitted that he would always have an interest in issues that come before him.
“Any matter that comes before the house, I cannot be neutral because I have an interest in it, but in performing my duty as a Speaker, I have to be impartial,” he said.
Mr. Bagbin became the first-ever Speaker of Parliament from an opposition party in 2021.
He is also overseeing the closest Parliament in Ghana’s fourth republic, in which the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 137 seats each, with one independent MP supporting the NPP.
During the meeting, the Council of State, expressed concerned about the recent turn of events in Parliament, that have involved brawls between legislators.
Tensions have been simmering in the house over proposals to pass the controversial e-levy.
The chair of the council, Nana Otuo Siriboe, however, said it was ready to play a mediation role.
“We feel that it is bent and not broken and that it can be mended,” he said.
“However, developments in Parliament have given us a feeling that our hope may not be realised and that if we as the Council of State do not give you the support we pledged you and sat down for things to go haywire, we will equally be accused of not doing our work as expected of us by the people of Ghana.”