The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin, has called for consensus building in the deliberations of Parliament to help sustain Ghana’s nascent democracy.
He said that could be achieved through consultations, dialogue, cooperation, compromises and collaboration by both sides of the aisle.
Mr Bagbin said the country had a hung Parliament, with both the Majority and the Minority sides having 137 members each, and, therefore, the majoritarian rule that existed in the past was no longer applicable, adding: “A hung Parliament is not an easy task in a society which is used to a majoritarian, winner-takes-all rule.”
He said there was, therefore, the need for both sides of the House to recognise that fact and adjust to the prevailing situation for the common good of the country.
Mr Bagbin made the call at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA’s) Africa Regional Trade and Security workshop at Parliament House in Accra.
The three-day workshop, which began yesterday on the theme: “Effective parliamentary scrutiny, gender sensitivity and complexity”, is being attended by delegates from various Commonwealth member countries.
They are discussing issues that affect the parliaments of member states and how those complexities can be addressed.
Mr Bagbin said the current composition of Ghana’s Parliament presented the legislature with a unique opportunity to right some errors in the past.
He said as Speaker, he was leading a process that would ensure that the House played its role as equal partners in the delivery of an open, transparent and accountable government.
According to him, enhancing accountability and facilitating the discussion of issues that would sustain the country’s democracy would remain foremost on the agenda of Parliament.
The Speaker said the workshop also offered a platform for participants to discuss critical issues of trade, security and health, including the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said with the steady increase in intra-trade activities among Commonwealth countries at the time of such a complex global environment, there was the need to take decisive collective actions to prevent the emerging security threats and health risks the pandemic presented.
The Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, also stressed the need for more collaboration in Parliament.
According to him, a hung Parliament could be more useful for the development of Ghana’s democracy than the rancour and disagreements that had characterised the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.