Thirty years of the inception of the Fourth Republican Parliament of Ghana


Today, Saturday 7th January 2023, marks thirty (30) years of the inception of the Fourth Republican Parliament of Ghana, after eleven (11) years of military rule and the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution that was approved by the Ghanaian citizenry in a referendum.

On Ghana’s return to constitutional rule on 7th January 1993, the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic was dominated by Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who secured one hundred and eighty-nine (189) out of the two hundred (200) seats in Parliament. The First Republican Parliament comprised a total of sixteen (16) women from both the Majority and Minority Caucuses of the House.

Over the years, Parliament has evolved and the number of parliamentary seats increased to two hundred and thirty (230) in January, 2005 and further expanded to two hundred and seventy-five (275) since January, 2013.

The maturity of Ghana’s democracy is evidenced by the smooth and peaceful alternations of the two major political parties in keenly competed elections in the years 2000, 2008, 2016 and 2020.
The current Parliament, which is the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic, has introduced some interesting dynamics in democratic governance. The two (2) major political parties, for the first time, hold the same number of seats, resulting in a hung Parliament.

At the inauguration of the Eighth Parliament, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had 137 seats, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had 137 seats and one (1) seat was occupied by an independent Member. Forty (40), out of the 275 membership of the House, are women; and that is the highest number of female representation since the inception of democratic governance in Ghana.

It is also the first time the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament has no ties with the ruling political party, which is a clear indication of the development of our democracy since 1993. The Ghanaian electorate is more informed and takes active part in governance and constitutional matters.

Since the inception of the Fourth Republic, Parliament has passed over one thousand (1000) Bills including the Right to Information Act, the National Identification Authority Act, the Interpretation Act, the Electoral Commission Act, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice Act, the Audit Service Act and the Presidential Transitional Act. Parliament also repealed other legislations such as the Criminal Libel law, and is working assiduously to enact other Bills to regulate the conduct of public business and promote good governance.

In order to further the cause of international diplomacy and boost global integration, Parliament has also passed resolutions and ratified treaties including the African Convention on Cyber Security and Personal Data Protection; the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area; the Framework Agreement on the Establishment of International Solar Alliance; and the Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Republic of Mauritius for the Development of Technology and Business Parks in Ghana.

Adjudged the best Open Parliament in Africa for the year 2022 by the Open Parliament Index, the Parliament of Ghana continues to use technology to bring democratic governance to the doorstep of the citizenry and this is demonstrated, among others, by the public hearings of the Appointments Committee and the Public Accounts Committee.

Thirty (30) years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy is a milestone, and the Parliament of Ghana will, in the year 2023, celebrate this feat with various activities and events.