Speaker presents Democracy Cup to President

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, last Thursday presented the Democracy Cup to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.

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The presentation was to officially invite the President to the cup match between rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, with the winner scheduled to face off with DC United in the United States of America.

The initiative is to commemorate 30 years of uninterrupted Fourth Republic on the theme: “Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy Under the Fourth Republic: The Journey So Far”. 

Deepening democratic culture

During the presentation, the two statesmen expressed their avowed commitment to deepen and enrich Ghana’s democratic and peaceful culture. The Speaker said he was optimistic that the Democracy Cup match would give Ghana’s globally touted democracy, another milestone.

“The initiative will not only deepen the culture of Ghana’s democracy but further entrench it to advance our enviable position as the bastion of democracy in Africa,” he said. Mr Bagbin expressed the conviction that football could be leveraged to bring together Ghana’s youth and the nation at large as a force to protect Ghana’s democracy.

He said soccer could be used to preach peace and unity, especially as the December 7 elections drew closer, saying “We can use soccer to commit everyone to the democratic path the country has taken”.

The Speaker assured President Akufo-Addo that Parliament would collaborate with the Executive and the Judiciary to strengthen the country’s democratic credentials. That, he said, would help enhance a good governance structure that would be more responsive to the aspirations of the people.

Mr Bagbin pointed out that various stakeholders, including chiefs, students and civil society organisations had been brought on board to “get the buy-in of all”.

Highlighting the Legislature’s commitment to promoting democratic governance in Ghana, the Speaker pointed out several activities Parliament had undertaken over the past six months to commemorate the anniversary.

They included public lectures, mock parliaments and engagements with chiefs, the clergy, students and citizens across the nation.

Commendation

President Akufo-Addo after receiving the cup commended the Speaker and Parliament for initiating the Democracy Cup. Describing the initiative as “auspicious and excellent”, he urged that all arms of government work together in the spirit of collaboration.

In his view, despite the disturbances that characterised the first, second and third republics, the Fourth Republic had so far served the country well. “Efforts must, therefore, be made to sustain it,” he said and commended Ghanaians for their steadfastness.

“It is to the credit of all of us. I commended the Speaker for the efforts he has put in during the fourth republic,” he said and expressed the hope that the Democracy Cup would become an annual event.

Background

The Democracy Cup is a one-off match slated for July 17, 2024, and will be preceded by a match between Parliament and former players of the Black Stars. Launched on June 13, 2024, the match would climax the celebration of three decades of uninterrupted Fourth Republic.

A key event in the celebrations is a football match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, scheduled for July 17, 2024, at the Accra Sports Stadium. This event aims to engage the youth, promote peace and unity, and foster a sense of national solidarity ahead of the December 2024 elections.

Additionally, a curtain-raiser match between Parliament and former Black Stars players will add to the excitement. At the presentation were the Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; the Secretary to the President, Nana Bediatuo Asante; the Clerk to Parliament Cyril Kwabena Oteng Nsiah; the Deputy Clerk Ebenezer Ahumah Djietror; the Deputy Majority Leader Patricia Appiagyei; the Minority Chief Whip Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe-Ghansah; the Coordinating Director of the Public Affairs Subdivision, Kate Addo, and the Director of Media Relations, David Damoah.

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