Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the immediate past Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, has been sworn in as the Seventh Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.
This was after he beat Professor Aaron Mike Quaye, the Speaker of the Seventh Parliament, in a closely contested election supervised by the Clerk to Parliament.
Mr Bagbin took the oath of office administered by the Chief Justice, Justice Anim Yeboah, to pave way for the swearing in of MPs-elect and later, the investiture of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The election was characterized by verbal attacks from both sides of the House with intermittent acts of violence, necessitating the invitation of armed military and police personnel to maintain order.
Disagreements over the presence of the Member of Parliament (MP)-Elect for Assin-North, Mr Quayson Gyakye, who was restrained by a Cape Coast High Court from presenting himself as MP-elect, in the Chamber of Parliament and mode of voting delayed the process for over eight hours.
Who is Bagbin?
Alban S.K. Bagbin was born on September 24, 1957 at Sombo in the Upper West Region.
He is a graduate of the University of Ghana (1977-1980) and the Ghana School of Law (1980 -1982). He holds an Executive Masters in Governance and Leadership from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).
His parents were Mr. Sansunni Bagbin and Mrs Margaret B. Bagbin who were both peasant farmers. He is the fourth child of nine children of the Margaret Bagbin and the thirteenth of the Bagbin family.
Mr. Bagbin is married to Mrs Alice Adjua Yornas Bagbin, who works as the Programme Officer of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) office in Ghana.
The former Majority Leader started schooling at an early age at the Roman Catholic Primary School, Sombo, did his second cycle education at Wa Secondary School and ended at the Tamale Secondary School, where he earned his Ordinary Level and Advanced Level certificates before entering the University of Ghana in 1977.
His working life experience took him to a number of establishments after school, and this no doubt enabled him to garner a lot of experiences that he brings to bear in his current political role.
From 1980 to 1982, he worked at the Bureau of Statistics and Statistical Service as the acting Secretary to the Statistical Service Board while between 1982 and 1983; he worked as Personnel Manager of the erstwhile State Hotels Corporation (Ambassador/Continental Hotels) before sojourning to Libya to teach English at the Suk Juma Secondary School, Tripoli.
When he returned from Libya in 1986, Mr. Bagbin joined the Akyem Chambers, a firm of legal practitioners, consultants and notaries public, as a partner.
Between 1989 and 1992, he was appointed an external solicitor of the Credit Unions Association of Ghana (CUA), Nii Ngleshie family of James Town and a number of private business firms in Accra.
From 1993 to date, the Former Majority Leader has been a partner of the Law Trust Company, a firm of legal practitioners, consultants and notaries public.
Hon. Bagbin has held a number of positions in Parliament since 1994 and capped his law making career with the ultimate, the Majority Leader and Leader of the House.
In the first Parliament of the Fourth Republic, he was made the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Subsidiary Legislation and Vice Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy and Member of the Committee on Local Government and Rural Development.
From 1995 to date, Mr. Bagbin has been a member of a group known as Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) and member of the international Law and Human Rights Programme of the PGA.
From 1996 to 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Committee on the Restructuring of the Water Sector (Ministry of Works and Housing) while between 1997 and 2001, he was a member of the National Media Commission.
In the Second Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Mr. Bagbin was the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs with oversight responsibilities for the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Electoral Commission, National Commission on Civic Education, Office of Parliament and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.
He was also the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee from 2001 to 2005, and was the Vice Chairman of the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
He has also been a member of the African Parliamentary Network against Corruption (1999-2005).
Founding Member, Global Organization of Parliamentarians against Corruption (2002 to date).
Elected Vice President, Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
Elected member of the international Council for Parliamentarians for Global Action.
Attended a number of international conferences, seminars and assignments while he has undertaken a lot of consultancies and presented papers at a number of international fora.
Mr Bagbin said he has been prepared to hold high positions right from his days in school when he was appointed Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the Legon Hall, University of Ghana.
He also held positions in a number of associations on campus at Legon.
Mr Bagbin said he was part and parcel of the euphoria of the 1979 Revolution staged by Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings.
“In 1992 when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) metamorphosed into the National Democratic Congress (NDC), it became a matter of choice for me to stand for election in my constituency and from then my parliamentary career has known no bounds,”he is reported to have said.
Mr Bagbin described his eight -year term as the Minority Leader (2001 -2008) as a very challenging period, adding that he, however, managed to ride the challenges till his party captured power in the 2008 general elections and formed the Majority in Parliament.
By A.B. Kafui Kanyi