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Opinions of Thursday, 8 April 2021

Columnist: Kwesi Atuahene

Constitution permits Bagbin to be NDC flagbearer 2024 and Speaker at the same time

Speaker Bagbin has been tipped as a potential flagbearer of the NDC come 2024 Speaker Bagbin has been tipped as a potential flagbearer of the NDC come 2024

The speaker of Ghana’s 8th Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Sumana was received in his home region with a rousing welcome yesterday. Born as Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on 24 September, 1957. He was the minister for health from January 2012 until February 2013 when Hanny – Sherry Ayittey took over that position.

He served as the MP for Nadowli west constituency in the upper west region of Ghana in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th parliaments of the Republic of Ghana and now Speaker of the 8th Parliament.

He contested for the presidential candidate slot of the National Democratic Congress in 2019 but subsequently lost to the former president John Mahama but the fate of Ghana’s 1992 republican constitution permits Bagbin to run and perhaps become the flagbearer of the main opposition party, NDC whilst serving as the speaker of the 8th Parliament.

The 1992 republican constitution does not prohibit top government officials like the Vice President and Speaker of Parliament from contesting to be flagbearer of any political party whilst at post.

As NDC moves towards election 2024 amidst reports from Economic Intelligence Unit and European Public Policy Institute suggesting the NDC could win election 2024 with a new face, Bagbin could be that new face.

The Economic Intelligence Unit suggested it expects the National Democratic Congress to defeat the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 7, 2024 general elections.

This according to the Unit is because the NPP government has had two terms in power under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo.

“After two terms of NPP government, we expect the NDC to win the 2024 presidential election and to gain a small majority in Parliament,” part of a report issued by the Unit read.

In the 25-page document sighted on many media publications, the Economist Intelligence Unit said it was also expecting the NDC to introduce a new candidate although there are rumours that former President John Dramani Mahama who is also the party’s 2020 flagbearer would contest again.

“The next parliamentary and presidential elections are due in 2024. Under the constitutionally mandated term limits, Mr. Akufo-Addo cannot run for a third term. Mr. Mahama is reportedly considering whether to run again, but we expect the NDC to seek to revitalize its prospects with a fresh candidate.”

If there is no law preventing Bagbin from becoming a flagbearer whilst serving as a speaker what stops him from pursuing an ancient dream?

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