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Politics of Thursday, 24 December 2020


Race to become Speaker of Parliament

Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse

As the life of the 7th Parliament expires on January 6, 2021, the race to nominate the Speaker of Parliament for the 8th Parliament has begun.

Per the “Hung Parliament” system of parliamentary practice, it will be incumbent on both parties to reach a compromise in order to have a smooth process in parliament.

For now, after the 2020 elections, the NPP and NDC have 137 seats each with an Independent Candidate who has expressed interest in voting on matters with his mother party, the NPP.

Right now, both parties can equally nominate the Speaker.

Within the NPP, many names are being rumoured as the best for the job. Some of the names are discussed in this article.

Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse

Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse’s name has come up strongly as the next Speaker of Parliament.

Justice Jones Mawulom Dotse is a Justice of the Supreme Court of Ghana. He graduated from the University of Ghana in 1976 with a Law degree and was later awarded a Bachelor of Law from the Ghana School of Law in 1978. He was called to the Bar in November 1978.

He worked as a State Attorney for three years and went into private practice for 20 years. During this period of practice at the Bar, Justice Dotse held many positions, rising to become President of the Volta Region Bar Association. He has specialised in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

In 2002, he was appointed to the Bench as a High Court Judge where he served for seven years. In 2008, he was appointed as Justice of the Supreme Court of The Gambia, a position he still occupies. That same year, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of Ghana.

He has had extensive international exposure through short courses and conferences by association with the International Bar Association (IBA); Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute (CJEI) Halifax, Canada; Special Judicial Faculty Training of the National Judicial Institute of Canada, Ottawa; and the International Visitor Programme of the United States of America.

Within the NDC circles, the name that pops up is Alban Bagbin

Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the MP for Nadowli West, can be described as one of ‘The Dons’ within the Parliament of Ghana and served as either the Majority or Minority Leader depending on whether or not his party was in government. He rose within the ranks and he is now the second Deputy Speaker of Parliament. He has been in Parliament since 1993, but will not be in the eighth Parliament.

Bagbin is a member of the NDC and represents the Nadowli West Constituency from the Upper West Region. Bagbin announced his intentions to run for president in 2008 on the NDC ticket, but he never stood for the primaries. He became the Majority Leader in the Ghanaian parliament in 2009. Following a cabinet reshuffle in January 2010, he was appointed Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing by President Mills. He has also been confirmed as Majority Leader of Parliament under President Mahama's tenure of office, he succeeded Dr Benjamin Kunbuor who was appointed as the Minister of Defence.