June 24, 2024
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Hung parliaments are the best; let’s keep voting that way – Alban Bagbin

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has indicated that Ghana’s 8th Parliament under the 4th Republic is the best out of the lot.

According to him, the hung parliament has prevented the governing party and the executive from forcing policies, programmes, and initiatives on Ghanaians by bulldozing their way through parliament.

Addressing a public forum in the Volta Regional capital of Ho, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the parliament under the 4th Republic, he entreated Ghanaians to endeavour to always ensure that both the majority and minority sides of the House have balanced numbers.

The 8th parliament has 137 members from the governing New Patriotic Party, and 137 members from the opposition National Democratic Congress, with one independent candidate, totaling 275 members.

Mr Bagbin, who has served in Parliament since the inception of the 4th Republic in 1992, asserted that a hung house is “very difficult to manage” but indicated that it best prevents leaders from becoming possible dictators by having their way through parliament.

“This hung parliament is not like the other parliaments, and I would want to urge all of you to let us continue along this path, and with time you will see the difference. We take time to make decisions, but we build consensus in making the decision. We don’t push it down the throat of many people.

I have heard some other voices say we should not vote that way again. I don’t want to see any party with a huge majority in parliament. I am sharing my experiences with you. If you think against this, do it and see what will happen”, he stressed.

Inasmuch as he identified that the 1992 constitution has played a significant role in maintaining parliamentary democracy over the last 3 decades, he said it needs a comprehensive amendment, to meet the current dynamics of democracy.

The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State, Togbe Afede XIV who chaired the occasion, indicated that national goals captured in the 1992 constitution have not been achieved within the last 30 years.

He said the country had failed to harness its natural resources to benefit the citizenry, adding that the economic crisis which has among other things worsened unemployment, has caused desperation among the youth.

“There are several graduates of six years standing who are still looking for jobs. What it means, therefore, is that we have not achieved the objective of our people. You’ve not realized the dreams of our founding fathers, and of course, we have not realized the aspirations that are enshrined in our 1992 constitution”, he stressed.

“This forum would not have been happening at a better time than now, time to take stock, time for parliament to look back and ask, how much have we done to facilitate the development of the country? How much have we done to raise living standards? How much have we done to bring business to our people? That is the essence”, he indicated.

Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Agbodza entreated stakeholders to endeavor to safeguard the country’s democracy by working to restore the economy to avert coups as experienced in the past.

The District Chief of Executive of Afadzato South, and the Dean of Municipal and District Chief Executives in the Volta Region, James Etornam Flolu urged Parliament to endeavour to clarify the role of MPs in local development.

Questions and concerns of the public focused on the amendment of the constitution, the underdevelopment, corruption, and education among others.

The first parliament of the 4th Republic was inaugurated in January 1993 after Ghana returned to Constitutional rule. This followed the approval of the 1992 Constitution in a referendum in April 1992.

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