Longest-Serving MPs And Their Fate For Ghana’s Next Parliament
When the sun sets on the seventh Parliament on January 7, 2021, the House will lose some of its most experienced hands who have been in the legislature for 16-28 years.
The likes of Alban S.K. Bagbin, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, Inusah Fuseini and Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo will have the curtain drawn on their roles in Parliament to be replaced by fresh lawmakers.
Most of these MPs are considered institutional memories, having mastered the rules and Standing Orders of the longest-surviving Parliament in the history of Ghana.
Parliament, one of the three arms of government, is an institution with specific rules and regulations.
As such, parliamentary work requires mastery of the guidelines to be effective in the House.
The business of the House requires adherence to specific standing orders to ask questions, lay bills in parliament, second a motion, make a statement or contributions.
Continuity is required to ensure effective work to out-muscle opponents of the political divide, especially during debates.
However, over 40 incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) have lost their seats in the just-ended NPP primaries. The NDC also had its share of at least 15 MPs falling during the party’s primary last year.
This has raised concerns about the high attrition rate and its effect on the quality of work.
With dwindling numbers of experienced hands who could mentor new MPs, theghanareport.com has assessed legislators who have served at least four terms in parliament and brings you their fate after the Seventh Parliament ends in 2020.
By comparison, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has more longest-serving MPs than the governing NPP.
While some of these experienced MPs decided to step down voluntarily, others were swept away by the tide during their primaries.
As the country prepares for December 7, there are fears that some more experienced lawmakers, particularly, in the swing regions/constituencies might bid the house goodbye.
Will they survive the next Parliament?
NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY (NPP)
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (Majority Leader)
The MP for Suame in the Ashanti Region is the most experienced legislator for the governing NPP.
He entered the House as a member of Old Tafo Suame in 1996 but now represents Suame since the constituency was split.
He has served six terms in Parliament.
He is the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and an Urban Planner.
He is Chair of three Parliamentary Select Committees, but serves on seven committees in total.
Before the NPP primaries, he advocated the protection of the leadership of the party in parliament.
He will represent the constituency again after contesting unopposed.
He is most likely to be in the next Parliament as he is contesting in a constituency in the Ashanti Region that has always voted for the NPP.
Mr Agyapong is a Ghanaian politician and businessman who represents Assin Central in the Central Region for the NPP.
The controversial lawmaker was first elected as an MP in 2000 for the Assin North seat.
He kept his seat in the 2004 and 2008 parliamentary elections.
In 2012 he was elected to the new seat of Assin Central and was re-elected in 2016.
He has served five terms in parliament.
He is a member of the House Committee and also Chairs the Local Government and Rural Development Committee.
He has made comments in the past, suggesting retirement, but contested unopposed and will represent his constituency on the ticket of the NPP in the next parliamentary elections. Given that he is contesting in an NPP stronghold, he very likely to be in the next Parliament.
Kobina Tahir Hammond
He is MP for Adansi-Asokwa Constituency in Ashanti Region.
Mr Hammond is a lawyer, and he has been an MP since January 2001 to date, serving five terms.
He is currently a member of the Finance Committee and Mines and Energy Committee.
He was a former Energy Minister in the Kufuor administration.
He won the mandate of the delegates again at the just-ended NPP primaries to represent the constituency in the next elections.
He won by 236 votes as against 170 by his challenger, Mr Samuel Binfoh Dakwa.
The controversial MP will likely be among the country’s next lawmakers. His constituents have never sent any other party to Parliament apart from the NPP.
NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS
He is the MP for Asutifi South Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He has served six terms.
He was first elected to parliament in the 1992 parliamentary election on the ticket of the NDC, making him the first MP for the Asutifi South in the Fourth Republic.
He, however, lost his seat in the 2000 parliamentary election due to an allegation that he had used ‘juju’ to kill his political rival, Prof. Gyan-Amoah, just a day before the general elections. He, however, regained his seat in 2004.
Between 2002 and 2004, when he was out of parliament, he was the Regional Chairman of the NDC in the Brong Ahafo Region.
He is currently the Ranking Member for the Lands and Forestry Committee.
Additionally, he serves on the Finance Committee and the Committee of Selection Committee.
Mr Dauda is a former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and former Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing.
He is likely to be in the next Parliament given the pattern of the voting trend in the constituency.
Alhaji Rashid Pelpuo
He is the MP for the Wa Central Constituency in the Upper West Region. He holds a PhD in Development Policy from the University of Ghana.
He has served four terms in parliament.
He serves on four committees in parliament.
Mr Pelpuo is the Ranking Member for the Government Assurance Committee and serves on three others.
Mr Pelpuo was Minister of State at the Office of the President when he was appointed Minister for Youth and Sports by President John Atta Mills in September 2009 following the resignation of Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, who was also MP for Asawase.
He served in this capacity until a cabinet reshuffle in January 2010 when he was replaced by Ghana’s first female Minister for Sports, Akua Dansua and appointed Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament instead.
In the John Mahama administration (2012 – 2016) he was appointed Minister of State at the Office of the President in Charge of Private Sector Development and Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
He was also a member of the Economic Management Team (EMT).
He won the mandate again in the NDC primaries in 2019 and will contest the next parliament. He is likely to be in the next Parliament.
Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak
Alhaji Muntaka is the MP for Asawase in the Ashanti Region and the Majority Chief Whip.
He has served in Parliament for four terms. He is a member of six committees of Parliament.
He first entered Parliament in 2005 when he won a by-election in the Asawase constituency to replace the late Dr Gibrine, also of the NDC, who had won the seat in December 2004.
He was the Minister for Youth and Sports. Alhaji Muntaka was asked by the then President Mills to proceed on leave while allegations of corruption levelled against him were investigated.
However, he resigned from the government following the acceptance by Professor Mills of the findings of the investigating committee.
He will contest the next parliamentary election slated for December.
Asawase is one of the few NDC strongholds in the Ashanti Region. The region is the ‘world bank’ of the NPP.
The ability of the Minority Whip to retain seat appears shaky as the NPP appears to have a serious interest in unseating him.
Haruna Iddrisu (Minority Leader)
He is the MP for Tamale South and Minority Leader of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic in Ghana.
He stood for parliament in the 2004 election in the then newly formed Tamale South Constituency. He has since been a member of the last four parliaments in the 4th Republic.
He has held several positions including Minister for Communications under the Mills and Mahama governments, and Minister for Trade between 2013 and 2014.
He was appointed Minister for Employment and Labour Relations by President Mahama in July 2014.
He serves on six committees in parliament. He is Vice Chairman for one committee and Ranking Member for three others.
The vocal and respected Minority Leader will most likely return to the house. The NDC had always won the Tamale South seat.
James Klutse Avedzi
Mr Avedzi is MP for Ketu North and Deputy Minority Leader.
He is the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and a member of three others.
James Klutse Avedzi worked as the principal accountant at the Controller and Accountant Generals Department in Accra before seeking political office in 2004. On the ticket of the NDC, he contested and won the parliamentary seat in 2005.
He has since served four terms and hopes to add a fifth in 2020.
The Deputy Minority Leader will certainly return to the next Parliament. His constituency in the Volta Region had always voted for NDC.
LONGEST-SERVING MPs WHO LOST IN THE PRIMARIES
Joseph Yieleh Chireh (NDC MP for Wa West)
The pharmacist has been in Parliament since 2005 and served four terms.
He was a member of three committees and one of the few MPs credited with institutional memory.
The former minister under the Mahama administration found plenty of time for Parliament in 2019. He is among theghanareport.com’s 10 most vocal MPs for 2019.
However, he lost the NDC primaries to Executive Secretary to the former Inspector General of Police, Peter Lanchene Tuubo.
He lost by a whopping 438 votes, suggesting that the people of his constituency do not want him any longer. Mr Tuubo, who is now the ‘darling boy’ of the area, had 755 while Mr Chireh had 317.
Mr Chireh was appointed by former President Jerry Rawlings as Upper West Regional Minister in his government in 1993. He was subsequently made Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Algeria with concurrent accreditation to Tunisia, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and Mauritania between 1997 and 2001.
In February 2009, he was appointed Minister for Local Government and Rural Development by the then President of Ghana, John Atta Mills.
On January 4, 2011, he was appointed Minister of Health by Professor Mills in a cabinet reshuffle.
LONGEST-SERVING MPs WHO VOLUNTARILY OPTED OUT OF THE NEXT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
Alban Bagbin (NDC MP Nadowli Kaleo Constituency)
The MP has been part of all Parliaments in the Fourth Republic of Ghana since its inception in 1992.
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament is the longest-serving MP and has been in parliament for 28 years earning the name ‘Mugabe’.
He is the Chairperson of the Members Holding Offices of Profit Committee. He also serves on three other committees.
Bagbin announced his intentions to run for president in 2008 on the NDC ticket, but he never stood for the primaries.
He became the Majority Leader in the Ghanaian parliament in 2009. Following a cabinet reshuffle in January 2010, he was appointed Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing by President Mills.
However, he has served notice that he will retire after his current term, which ends this year.
He contested the flag-bearer position in the NDC after nursing presidential ambitions but lost to former President John Dramani Mahama in 2019.
He did not take part in the NDC primaries in the constituency, which was won by Sumah Mwinkaara.
Seven candidates contested the Nadowli-Kaleo seat, but Anthony pulled 374 out of the total 875 total vote cast making him the winner.
Inusah Abdulai Bistav Fuseini (NDC MP for Tamale Central Constituency)
The private legal practitioner, formerly a senior associate with the Law Trust Company in Accra, has served parliament for four terms after entering in 2006.
He won the seat via a by-election after Wayo Seini defected from the NDC to the NPP.
Inusah Fuseini is the Ranking Member on the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee and serves on two other committees.
He was a former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources under the Mahama administration.
He announced his retirement in 2019.
This paved the way for the former Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Murtala Mohammed, to win the primaries in the Tamale Central race of the NDC.
Murtala polled 737 votes to defeat Rahaman Gundadow , a former MCE of Tamale who garnered 319 votes, and Alhassan Adam who secured 181 votes.
Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo (NDC MP for Kpone-Katamanso Constituency)
He competed for the Kpone-Katamanso seat on the ticket of the NDC and won in 2004.
He has served in parliament for four terms on three committees.
He has been Volta Regional Minister and Greater Accra Regional Minister over the years.
He is the MD of JNL Afotey-Agbo Ventures and a farmer/agriculturist.
Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo was inducted into the Nungua Traditional Council as the regent of Katamanso in the Greater Accra region in 2017.
With chiefs unable to participate in partisan politics, he subsequently announced that he would not run again for an MP seat after his current term expires in 2020.
“I have decided with my kinsmen; I am not going to seek re-election as MP again when I finally bring my tenure of office as MP to an end thus I am seriously grooming one fine gentleman to take over the mantle of leadership as MP in the area when I finally step down in 2020,” he noted during his installation.
A business consultant and Managing Director of JOBIZ Business Consult, Joseph Akuerteh Tettey (Joe T) won the NDC primaries for the constituency in 2019.