Source: The General Telegraph - Majority Leader in Parliament Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin has dismissed reports that he would not be seeking re-election in 2016, barely 24 hours after the General Telegraph had quoted sources suggesting that the veteran politician would be joining other experienced legislators who are bowing out of the House.
Mr. Bagbin was listed on Monday as one of the experienced MPs who have decided not to seek re-election.
Speaking in an interview with The General Telegraph on Tuesday, however, Mr. Bagbin, who is also the MP for Nadowli-Kaleo, denied that he was bowing out. He said he still stands by his belief that parliament needs experienced legislators to mentor and guide new legislators.
Mr. Bagbin indicated that he would be seeking his seventh term in Parliament, maintaining the position that, for parliamentary democracy to be consolidated and entrenched, “we need pillars, not only in terms of institutions but the human resource whose expertise must be tapped for the general good of all”.
“All efforts must be made to ensure that seasoned and experienced MPs are maintained in the law-making House, the Majority Leader,” insisted. The one time Minister of Health, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing has consistently complained about the apparent high attrition rate in parliament, arguing that there was barely any institutional growth as the institution kept on re-inventing the wheel.
“It is on that basis that I call on my colleagues contemplating not to seek re- election to reconsider their decisions and let us continue to serve Mother Ghana,” Mr. Bagbin stressed.
He was however also quick to add that since he also serves in various other local and sub-regional capacities, he needs to consult his constituency executives, opinion leaders and chiefs in order to make a final decision, even though he is keen on contesting his constituency parliamentary elections for the seventh time.
“As MP for Nadowli-Kaleo, Majority Leader of Parliament, I represent the country in various communities in West Africa; the decision to contest or not to contest would be done in consultation with my opinion leaders, chiefs and my constituency executives,” the veteran legislator said.
“I will be meeting with them next week to interact with them and if a consensus was reached, then I will contest but if not I will support whoever is contesting to help win the seat for the NDC,” he said; adding, “But as of now, I have not made a firm decision and I have not come out to say I would or will not contest. The decision to contest or not is not a unilateral decision. I have my loyal constituents and I need to get them involved in every decision. I cannot just come out and say I will not contest.”
Mr. Bagbn said he has been under pressure since the publication on Monday from his constituents. “But I will be there next week for us to have a consultative meeting and make a decision thereof,” he indicated.
Among the experienced NDC parliamentarians not seeking re-election as the NDC opens nomination for parliamentary primaries, The General Telegraph has gathered, include Mrs. Juliana Azumah-Mensah, MP for Agortime Ziope; Mr. Amadu Seido, MP for Yapei-Kasangu; Mr. Fritz Frederic Baffour of Ablekuma South; Ablekuma Central, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie and Dr. Nii Oakley Quaye-Kumah, MP for Krowor.
Dr. Quaye-Kumah, a former deputy minister of Roads and Transport during the Prof Mills’ administration, is reported to be bed-ridden over the past few months.
Dr. Quaye-Kumah, a veterinary surgeon, has been absent from parliament for months and close aides say he would, therefore, not seek re-election due to his poor health condition.
The number could still go up in the event that some of the experienced ones either lose out during their respective party primaries or in the parliamentary elections in December.
However, signals picked up by this paper indicate that the MP for Klottey Korle Nii Armah Ashittey, may also be reconsidering his earlier decision not to seek for re-election.
According to reports, he is also under pressure to lead the constituency once again and has, therefore, declared “Whether Ezanator Rawlings or not, I will contest.
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