The Third Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana is to end on Friday night, January 6, 2017.
That will bring an end to the Sixth Parliament and usher in the Seventh Parliament on Saturday, January 7, 2017 for a four-year term.
Significant changes are to occur in the next Parliament in terms of the sitting arrangement and the leadership of the House.
Following the 171 parliamentary seats secured by the New Patriotic Party (NPP), as against 104 obtained by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the December 7, 2016 parliamentary election, the NPP will occupy majority seats in Parliament.
This means that NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) will move from the left-hand side of the Speaker of Parliament to his right-hand side.
The current Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, will be replaced by a new Speaker appointed by the NPP.
A former MP and former Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye; another former MP and former Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Freddy Blay; the current Second Deputy Speaker, Mr Joe Ghartey, and a former MP, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, are some of the names that have come up for the position of Speaker of the next Parliament.
By virtue of being in the majority, the NPP will also occupy the position of Majority Leader of the House.
The current Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, is likely to continue as Majority Leader, as he is not facing any strong contention from his colleague NPP MPs.
Information gathered by the Daily Graphic indicates that the current Majority Leader, Mr Alban Bagbin, is being considered for the position of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament.
The MP for Tamale and Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the MP for Ketu North and Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr James Avedzi, are said to be in contention for the Minority leadership slot.
State of the Nation Address
President John Dramani Mahama is to deliver a message on the State of the Nation today prior to the dissolution of the Sixth Parliament, in accordance with Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution.
Many loan agreements were approved, budgets were approved and bills were passed during the session.
But the Right to Information Bill is still outstanding.
Bills passed so far
Significant bills that sought to improve financial management in the public finance system were passed during the Sixth Parliament.
Also passed were some bills that aimed to protect the interest of depositors. Other bills focused on the improvement of technical education and the protection of the environment.
Parliament had to extend sittings to be able to pass some of the bills.
The 19 bills passed during the Second Meeting included the Technical Universities Bill, 2016; the Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Bill, 2016; the Bank of Ghana (Amendment) Bill, 2016; the Public Financial Management Bill, 2016; the National Disaster Management Organisation Bill, 2015; the Hazardous and Electronic Waste Control and Management Bill, 2016; the Ghana Deposit Protection Bill, 2015, and the Banks and Specialised Deposit Taking Institutions Bill, 2015.