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07.01.2009 General News

4th Parliament Ends

By Daily Graphic
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After four years in existence, the life of the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic came to an end at 12 midnight yesterday.

The dissolution of the Fourth Parliament was to pave the way for the inauguration of the Fifth Parliament today.

During its lifespan, the Fourth Parliament legislated  on areas that would enhance the growth and progress of the country.

Mention could be made of the National Pension Reform Act, the Chieftaincy Act, the Domestic Violence Act, the Northern Development Fund Act, among other salient legislation.

The Fourth Parliament comprised 205 males and 25 females (NPP-20 and NDC-5).

Of the 230 Members of Parliament, the New Patriotic Party had 128, the National Democratic Congress, 94, the People's National Convention (PNC), four, the Convention People's Party, three, and one independent member.

While nine of the MPs had been in the House since 1993, 45 of them had also been MPs since 1997, with 122 being new entrants. Five of them could be described as returnee MPs.

Addressing the last sitting of the Fourth Parliament yesterday, the Majority Leader, Mr Abraham Ossei Aidooh, stated that the MPs exhibited a high sense of duty and responsibility.

“The knowledge displayed by both old and new members in parliamentary procedures and practices kept improving day by day, which contributed to the quality of debates on the floor of the House,” he stated.

He regretted, however, that Parliament was still contending with inadequate office space for its work and expressed the hope that efforts at completing the new office complex and the committee secretariat would be stepped up.

Mr Aidooh also suggested that the car loans that were given to MPs should rather be in the form of grants, since MPs, as public servants, used their cars for their day-to-day work as parliamentarians.

For his part, the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, commended the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes, for the quality of his leadership, which resulted in consensus building between the Majority and Minority MPs on important national issues that came before the House during the period.

In his final remarks, Mr Hughes thanked the MPs, the staff of the Parliamentary Service and members of the Parliamentary Press Corps for their support during the period.

“Whatever I managed to achieve was largely due to your co-operation and advice. My knowledgeable and indefatigable deputies propped me well and so did the leadership of the caucuses,” he said.

“Honourable members, pursuant to Article 113 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the Fourth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana will stand dissolved at midnight tonight,” he said, amidst the shout of “agbenaa, agbenaa”, from the Minority side, while some MPs from the Majority side shouted, “We are moving forward”.

An emotional atmosphere was created when the Speaker moved from one table to another to shake the hands of the MPs after the dissolution of the House.

Some of the MPs who lost their seats during the recent general election said they would miss the debates and the cordial relationship among MPs during the period.

They include Kwabena Okerchire Adusa (Nkawkaw), Mr Yaw Asiedu-Mensah (Dormaa West), Mr Lee Ocran (Jomoro) and Dr Ben Kunbuor (Lawra/Nandom).

Story by Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah

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