According to many news outlets Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye will be nominated by the Majority NPP as Speaker of the incoming (7th) Parliament.
Professor Ocquaye is no stranger to Parliament. He served as MP for Dome-Kwabenya and Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the 5th Parliament (2009-2012). As 2nd Deputy Speaker, he played the role of Speaker on many occasions.
His rulings on issues of procedure and substance while in this role could therefore be indicative of how he will perform should he be elected as Speaker of the 7th Parliament.
Odekro has identified transcripts of a handful of his rulings as Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament between 2011 and 2012.
- During Minister's Question Time on October 25th 2011, a discussion arose on measures taken to protect the Abonyere Forest from illegal chainsaw operators. Prof. Ocquaye clarified the difference between Parliament's law-making role and the Judiciary's powers to adjudicate laws.
2.On the 29th of May 2012, Prof. Ocquaye presided over discussions of the Public Health Bill, 2011 which was at the Consideration Stage.
His clarifications ensured that the District Chief Executive was not given direct power to play the role of a District Health Officer in the absence of the latter:
3.Prof Ocquaye also had a firm grip on discussions in Parliament and intervened swiftly to ensure order whenever noisy interruptions threatened to derail important discussions in the House. The excerpt below is taken from the Hansard debates of 11th January 2011 :
These snapshots are a small sample of the Parliamentary records on Prof. Mike Ocquaye's tenure as Second Deputy Speaker. However if they are indicative of his performance as Second Deputy Speaker, he was a firm leader with a strong awareness of Parliament's constitutional position and a good understanding of the effect of legal style on the interpretation of laws.
We hope he exhibits these same qualities if he is elected Speaker of the 7th Parliament of Ghana's 4th Republic.