Dissolution of 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic takes place tonight
The sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana would be dissolved at midnight on today Friday January 6, 2017, to pave way for the commencement of the seventh Parliament on the morning of Saturday day, January 7, 2017.
The outgoing NDC government led by President John Mahama dominates the Sixth Parliament with 147 seats, with the NPP occupying 123 seats and three Independent members, the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Convention People’s Party had one seat each.
After the dissolution on the stroke of midnight of Friday, the 275 Members-elect, will elect the First and Second Deputy Speakers as well as the Speaker of Parliament.
The substantive Speaker will in the morning of the January 7 proceed to swear in the new MPs as dictated by the Constitution into the Seventh Parliament.
There was initial confusion over the timeline for the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament and the inauguration of the Seventh Parliament, owing to an inconsistency in a provision in the Presidential (Transition) Act, 2012 (Act 845).
Section 11 (1) of the Act provides that the Clerk of Parliament summons a meeting of the elected members of parliament two days before the dissolution of Parliament to elect the Speaker, deputy Deputy Speakers and take the oaths of office as members.”
Section 11(3) of the Act further provides: “The Speaker elected under sub-section (1) and the Members of Parliament who take their oaths of office under that sub-section, assume office subject to the operations of Article 113 of the Constitution, and accordingly take office on the 7th January following the general election.”
Both sections of Act 845 are inconsistent with provisions of the 1992 Constitution. Article 113 (2) states that Parliament shall continue for four years from the date of its first sitting and shall then stand dissolved, indicative that the current Parliament stands dissolved on January 6, 2017, considering that its first sitting was on January 7, 2013.
Article 95 (1) of the Constitution further stipulates: “There shall be a Speaker of Parliament who shall be elected by the Members of Parliament from among persons who are Members of Parliament or who are qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament.”
In a short press statement from the communications or public affairs office of Parliament which stated that “all is set for Ghana’s Parliament to inaugurate the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic and Swearing in Ceremony.”
The statement which was signed by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of Parliament Kate Addo (Ms) said the inauguration of the seventh Parliament of the fourth Republic will take place at 12:05am exactly on the 7th of January, 2017.
The statement further stated that “a Speaker of Parliament and two Deputies will also be selected at the Swearing in Ceremony.”
Members elect of Parliament are therefore expected to be seated in the Chamber by 11:00pm.