Ghana’s 7th Parliament is one whose unique characteristics cannot be left to go unnoticed…
Ghana’s 7th Parliament was inaugurated on Saturday, 7th January, 2017, some hours ahead of the inauguration of the new President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It became the latest parliament in the 4th Republic after the 6th parliament was dissolved on the night of Friday, 6th January, 2017.
Professor Mike Oquaye was sworn-in as the new Speaker of the House by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood. Joseph Osei-Owusu, MP for Bekwai constituency, and NDC’s Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, were also sworn-in as 1st and 2nd Deputy Speakers respectively.
Unlike the 6th Parliament where the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were in the majority with 148 seats as against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who were in the minority with 121 seats; the 7th Parliament has the tables turned with the NPP now in the majority with 171 seats as against the NDC who holds only 104 seats. This switch saw a lot of first-timers in the House among oldies who managed to retain their seats. Changes in leadership positions were also effected.
MP for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu who used to be the Majority Leader has now turned the Minority leader with MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi as Deputy. Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu was appointed Majority Leader with MP for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo to assist him.
Meanwhile, it has been noticed that the 7th Parliament has some rare qualities which have not always been the case with past parliaments in the history of Ghana. Some of these unique dynamics are pointed out below.
Age of MPs
It has been noted that Ghana’s 7th Parliament welcomed an unprecedented number of young MPs. A 23-year-old student, Francisca Oteng Mensah made it to the House as Member of Parliament for Kwabre East.
According to an infographic by Citifmonline.com, the average age of all the members of Ghana’s 7th Parliament is 48. This average age undoubtedly shows that there are a good number of young MPs in the House. This certainly, has not been the case in the past parliaments.
On the other hand, the oldest member of the House is Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah, MP for Akrofuom constituency.
A Pastor Counts Among the MPs
Member of Parliament for Assin South, Rev John Ntim Fordjour happens to be a pastor in the Victory Bible Church International. The minister and parliamentarian counts among the youngest MPs – aged 30. Since his inauguration, Rev. Ntim has been stressing the need for Christians to impact positively on politics. He also expressed confidence in readiness of the Speaker of the House, Michael Oquaye as well as President Akufo-Addo, to change the mindset of Ghanaians on politics.
We sincerely hope that all these qualities put together, will contribute positively to the effective delivery of the House of Parliament to better the lives of Ghanaians.