30 Years of parliamentary democracy: President commits to strengthening legislature


President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to strengthening the second arm of government – parliament, for its role in deepening the country’s democracy.

In a statement delivered on his behalf by the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare, at the launch of the 30th Anniversary of the Fourth Republican Parliament in Accra, the president noted that there is no better institution suited to put the executive in check than parliament.

“We cannot emphasise enough the role of parliament in exercising the checks and balances needed on the executive. We cannot emphasise enough the role of parliament as the voice of the people, and we cannot emphasise enough the role of parliament in setting the tone for public discourse in the country. It is for the good of the country that parliament continues to develop the capacity to insist on accountability in all aspects of our lives, and no institution is better suited for this than the representatives of the people.

“As president of the Republic, I assure you out of duty to our children and grandchildren – and to generations yet unborn, my government will do everything it can to strengthen parliament. We will not give up when it comes to deepening our democracy and guaranteeing integrity of the electoral process; and neither should you, the Ghanaian people,” he said.

The president further charged the citizenry to be proud of how far the country has come in terms of democracy.

“Today, we are considered a beacon of democracy and stability in Africa; where respect for the principles of democratic accountability, human rights and the rule of law have enabled us to oversee eight presidential elections in the fourth Republic, with five presidential transitions, and three peaceful transfers of power through the ballot box from one party to another.

“We have every right to be proud of this, and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fourth Republic should inspire us even more to hold onto this status. This milestone is to the great credit of the ordinary men and women who make up the fabric of our nation, and indeed to the credit of parliament – the second arm of government.”

Touching on the challenges thus far, the president admitted that the country is currently faced with economic challenges – and said these challenges can be addressed with the collective contribution of every citizen.

“Even though we are presently confronted with difficulties, I do not doubt our collective resolve to work our way out of these challenges and put our nation onto the path of progress and prosperity. For my part, I have unshakeable faith in the boundless prospects of Ghana’s future and we will work for it.

Let us work to create the platform for the evolution of a new Ghanaian civilisation, one that will give true meaning to the foundational values of freedom and justice on which our nation was birthed,” he urged.

The 30th Anniversary celebration launch

Saturday 7th January 2023 was exactly 30 years since the constitution of the Fourth Republic came into force. The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, on Wednesday 22nd February 2023, launched the 30th anniversary celebrations of the country’s parliamentary democracy.

Themed ‘Thirty years of parliamentary democracy under the Fourth Republic: The Journey thus far’, the year-long celebration will zone the country into six; with programmes being outlined by a planning committee chaired by the MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, to suit the peculiarities in each of the six zones.

Delivering the keynote message, the Speaker noted that even though the country has chalked up some successes in its democratic journey, there is a need to further strengthen institutions to ensure a sustainable democracy.

“Ghana has had eight successive elections and four government change-overs between the two major political parties. On account of that, we can confidently say we are now a consummate democratic dispensation.

“However, elections and successful government changeovers are not the only determinants of a working democracy. We must focus on strengthening our democratic institutions if we want to have a sustainable democracy,” the Speaker said.

The Speaker also acknowledged the contribution of past speakers of the Fourth Republic, who according to him have been pivotal in strengthening the pillars of democracy through their contributions and sacrifices.

Past Speakers

Daniel Francis Annan (late) was the pioneering Speaker of the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic. He served from 7th January 1993 to 6th January 2001.

Peter Ala Adjetey (late) was the Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2001 to 6th January 2005; Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes was Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2005 to 6th January 2009; Justice Joyce Adelaide Bamford-Addo was the Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2009 to 6th January 2013.

There was also Edward Doe Adjaho, who was Speaker of Parliament from 7th January 2013 to 6th January 2017; and Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, who took over as the Speaker of Parliament on 7th January 2017 and was succeeded by the current Speaker on 7th January 2021.

Present at the launch were some past Speakers, the diplomatic corps, traditional leaders, representatives from civil society organisations, representatives of the Council of State and the clergy, among other dignitaries.

Gov’t to procure additional 112 ambulances

As part of efforts to strengthen the National Ambulance Service (NAS) to carry out its mandate of attending to health emergencies, government is in the process of procuring an additional 112 ambulances.

Minister for Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, revealed that government through his ministry is also training more Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) to be deployed at some new stations in the country.

The minister was answering questions from Member of Parliament (MP) for Anyaa Sowutuom, Dr. Kissi Dickson Adomako, who was enquiring how the ambulance commute time can be improved to enhance efficiency of the Ambulance Service in his constituency.

Apart from the establishment of additional stations and procurement of new ambulance vehicles, the minister noted that the road network affects the Service’s operational efficiency.

“One of the factors resulting in delays is the bad road network, which affects the movement of ambulance vehicles in responding to cases swiftly. The bad road network also leads to mechanical components failure, thereby hampering operations of the service.

“I would like to inform the MP for Anyaa Sowutiom constituency that an additional ambulance station will be established in the constituency when the new ambulance vehicles are received and personnel are trained.  We will collaborate with Urban Roads under the Ministry of Roads and Highways and municipal assembly to ensure that road networks within the constituency are improved to enhance operational efficiency of the National Ambulance Service,” Mr. Agyemang-Manu assured.

Speaker in a celebratory mood with traditional dancers and drummers at the launch

Leave a Reply