By Edzorna Francis Mensah
The Parliament of Ghana is 30 years old, and the formal celebration of the anniversary will be launched on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 9.00 a.m. at Parliament House in Accra.
The launch, which will herald a year-long celebration marked with various activities, is under the theme “Thirty (30) Years of Parliamentary Democracy Under the Fourth Republic: The Journey This Far”.
The practice of parliamentary democracy has deepened since the inauguration of the First Parliament on January 7, 1993, and Ghana’s Parliament is currently one of the most studied in Africa and the world.
The membership has also grown since its inception, from 200 MPs in 1993 to 230 MPs at the beginning of the 4th Parliament in 2005, and then to 275 MPs at the beginning of the 6th Parliament in 2013.
In a press statement signed by Kate Addo, the Director of Public Affairs, “The 4th Republican Parliament has so far had seven Speakers, with the first Speaker, Rt Hon Justice Daniel Francis Annan, being the only Speaker to serve two terms. The only female Speaker was the Rt. Hon. Joyce Adeline Bamford Addo, who was the Speaker of the 5th Parliament.
The number of female MPs has been relatively low over the past thirty years and has represented less than 20 percent of the membership of the House since 1993.”
This notwithstanding, there has been a marginal increase in the number of female MPs, from 16 in 1993 to 40 in 2021.
According to the statement, “the uniqueness of Ghana’s Parliament is due to its hybrid nature, which is a combination of the British Parliamentary and American Presidential systems.
This has been a source of fascination to many democracies and has put Ghana in a unique position among her peers. Discussions on how to harness the advantages of this system, minimize the disadvantages and challenges of the system, and whether or not Ghana should return to the practice of strict separation of powers, have been held at both national and international levels.”
Since the turn of the 4th Republic, Parliament has passed over 1000 Bills into law. These include the Right to Information Act, the National Identification Authority Act, the Interpretation Act, the Food and Drugs Act, and the Domestic Violence Act, among many other significant bills.
The official launch will be broadcast live on the Ghana Television channels and all the Parliament of Ghana electronic channels and internet handles.
Attendance, however, is strictly by invitation.