Ghana has no hung Parliament- Majority Leader
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has stated that Ghana’s eighth Parliament will not be a hanged one contrary to commentary on the results of the 2020 parliamentary elections.
“People should be woken up from their dreamland, but we are not there yet. In the scheme of Parliamentary arrangement, there is no hung parliament in Ghana.
“There is always a majority caucus. By all rules, there are only two caucuses in the house—Majority, Minority. Wherever the pendulum swings, Mr Speaker, that group will constitute the majority,” he said.
He told the House during the last State of the Nation Address by President Nana Akufo-Addo that the country’s Parliament had never operated without a Majority side.
For the first time, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) each have a shoe-string number in Parliament.
Both sides have 137 members with Andrew Asiamah, the independent MP for Fomena opting to join the NPP side to form a Majority.
But in a veiled sarcasm aimed at his peer on the Minority side, Haruna Iddrisu, who had earlier claimed that the NDC had the Majority when the Techiman South seat is added to their tally, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said: “For those who decide to be speculative and live in a dream world, a reality check will show where we are as a nation.”
Over the last few weeks, there had been turf war over which party will form the majority and subsequently elect the Speaker of Parliament.
With the NDC yet to overturn the EC decision to declare the Techiman South seat to the NPP, the ruling party has the edge to elect a Speaker.
The NPP has endorsed the incumbent Speaker, Prof Mike Ocquaye to continue while the NDC, among other names, is expected to nominate the current Second Deputy Speaker, Alban S. Bagbin, to contest for the role.
It will be the second time the speaker’s position will be put to vote if the two parties fail to reach a consensus—in 2004, the ruling NPP nominated Ebenezer B. Sekyi Hughes against the NDC’s choice of Peter Ala Adjetey who was then the incumbent speaker.
Unlike in the past when the lawmakers debate the State of Nation Address extensively, this time around, the President’s last speech to the lawmakers will have no room for a debate as the tenure of the seventh Parliament expires on the midnight of January 6.
“Normally, when the President delivers his State of the nation, parliament sets aside a date and period to pour through the content, but given where we are on the life of the eighth parliament, there is no space to debate the content of the message,” he said.
But it did not stop the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, from throwing subtle jabs as he accused the President of leaving the country’s democracy fractured.
“Ghanaians voted for no to excessive partisanship, no to the divisive politics of our country and for shared opportunities for the Ghanaian people,” he said.