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General News of Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Source: GNA

Fifth Parliament makes history

chooses woman as Speaker

Accra, Jan. 7, GNA - Mrs. Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo, retired Supreme Court judge, on Wednesday made history when she was elected as the first woman to assume the high office of the Speaker of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

She becomes the third in the leadership hierarchy in the country after the President and Vice President. Mrs Justice Bamford-Addo was elected unopposed as Speaker in sharp contrast to what her predecessor, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, went through.

The immediate past Speaker was elected Speaker of Fourth Parliament after a gruelling balloting following opposition from the late Peter Ala Adjetey, a former Speaker, who was nominated by the opposition. Mr Alban Bagbin, Member-Elect of the Fifth Parliament from the Majority NDC side, who moved a motion for the election of the Justice Bamford-Addo had an easy task, as Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, Member-Elect from the NPP Minority side quickly, endorsed her nomination.

The former Supreme Court Judge was born on March 26, 1937 and attended the Holy Child Secondary School in Cape Coast. She trained as a lawyer in the United Kingdom and practiced briefly in London and relocated to Ghana. She joined the Attorney-General's Department in Ghana as a State Attorney in 1963 and rose to become the Director of Public Prosecution in 1986. Between 1991 and 2004 she served as Supreme Court Judge. She also served on various boards including the Legal Aid Board and the Judicial Council.

In 1992, she served as a Deputy Speaker of the Consultative Assembly and retired from public service in October 2004, having served as a practicing lawyer for 43 years and as a judge of the Supreme Court for 13 years.