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A former Minister of Trade and Industry, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has described Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin’s election as Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic as a sign of a new era in Ghana’s politics.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Friday, Mr Spio-Garbrah said Mr Bagbin’s election indicated the end of “Winner Takes All.”
“…With his experience, he will be able to contribute to the nation’s democratic credentials. It is not surprising some Parliamentarians, knowing his competency and capability, put their partisan affiliation aside and voted Mr Bagbin in the interest of the nation,” he said.
Mr Spio-Gabrah said the current political atmosphere must guide President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to appoint ministers on merit other than political party affiliation. “The President needs to make public appointments that both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians living and working in the country will appreciate. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement and other international companies have their headquarters in Ghana so we must have appointees in the national interest,” he said.
“Friends and Family must disappear with immediate effect from the appointments in the new government. All such highly qualified members of the current administration should do the President a favour and not seek any public reappointments,” Mr Spio-Garbrah said.
He said political developments in the country called for an urgent need to build a new national consensus that embraced all political persuasions in the interest of peaceful nation-building.
Mr Spio-Garbrah said the Government must demonstrate to the international community that it was ready to practice a government of national unity, where appointees could be selected from people outside political party circles.
“It has happened in Ghana under the reign of the late President Jerry John Rawlings and Former President John Agyekum Kufuor. They both appointed people from other political parties to serve in their governments,” he recalled.
He urged the President to ensure that the interests of all political parties were served because government would need the support of the Speaker of Parliament and the National Democratic Congress Caucus to pass bills.