The Voice of Africa

The blurry picture of Ghana’s hung Parliament


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On January 5th 2021, the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo presented to Ghanaians his final State of the Nation’s Address to clear the road for the dissolution of the seventh Parliament in the fourth republic.

To give rise to the eighth Parliament in the fourth republic, the journey has not been easy since the transition was characterized by so many disagreements. At the end, the transition was successful but has been able to pave way for the inauguration of the eighth parliament of the fourth republic and the investiture of the president-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on January 7th 2021.

From time immemorial, the parliament of Ghana has been presided over by speakers of Parliament elected by the ruling government but that is not the case today. During the election of the speaker of Parliament, the pendulum changed and for the first time, the parliament of Ghana is presided over by a candidate presented by the opposition party in Parliament. This came as a surprise to the ruling party in parliament and a shock to most parliamentarians as a candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Rt. Honourable Alban Bagbin assumed the office as the speaker of Parliament.

In an interview with some Ghanaians, it has clearly been revealed that the country is in a state of confusion because of the absence of majority and minority parties in Parliament. The December 7th elections result provided almost an equal number of parliamentarians on both sides of the ruling party and the opposition party plus one independent candidate who happens to come from the ruling party. As a result, this has created a hung Parliament in the 2020 election of Ghana.

This has brought up a lot of arguments especially as some Ghanaians think that some policies of the ruling government will not be supported by most of the parliamentarians because even the ruling government do not have absolute majority in Parliament. With these developments in the political system of Ghana I believe that when a ruling government loses absolute majority and it pushes Parliament towards opposition, it can be an obstacle especially in the dealings of the ruling party. Activities like borrowing, ministerial appointments, conduction of inquiries into departments and agencies, invalidation of international agreements, decision-making in the natural resources and infrastructure sector signed by the ruling government may suffer when opposition refuses to give their assent. 

Just like United Kingdom’s 2010 general elections, where parliamentary elections results brought forth a hung Parliament, so I can say that the eighth parliament of the Republic of Ghana is a hung Parliament. This is because I believe that both the NDC and the NPP cannot be able to command majority in the House, unless they both agree on a particular decision. 

The 2020 general elections of Ghana has created a hung Parliament which I think will complicate President Akufo-Addo’s effort to act decisively to restore an economy which is covid-19 pandemic ridden. According to Kobi Annan, a political analyst of the Ghana-based Songhai Advisory, the opposition party, NDC, will have the power to veto what they want and that will put the ruling party in a tight corner.

In this respect, I want to urge all parliamentarians to pay heed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s call to work together in order to help in the business of developing the nation.

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