The Executive Director of the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD Ghana), Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has questioned the process leading to the selection of a Speaker for Ghana’s Parliament, suggesting the need for more transparency.
He said the Current arrangement where the Speaker is hurriedly elected and sworn in within a day does not display enough competition in the democratic practice.
Making a presentation recently at a one day roundtable discussion with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Accra, Prof H. Prempeh wondered whether the method of electing a Speaker and the powers given to the Speaker as enshrined in the Standing Orders of Parliament and the Constitution of Ghana are appropriate.
According to Order (8) of the Standing Orders of Parliament
“There shall be a Speaker of Parliament who shall be elected by the Members of Parliament from among persons who are Members of Parliament or who are qualified to be elected as such under the Constitution.”
This, according to Prof. H. Prempeh, needs to be reconsidered and if possible, a new and better module introduced to enhance the country’s democratic process.
He was making a presentation on the draft Standing Orders of the Parliament of Ghana at a Roundtable Discussion with CSOs on Parliamentary Openness. It was organized by Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), a Parliamentary Monitoring Organization, with funding and technical support from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) of the United Kingdom.
The meeting was to develope a baseline for the assessment of the compliance level of Ghana’s Parliament to the Declaration of Parliamentary Openness.
The Declaration of Parliamentary Openness draws on a variety of background documents endorsed by the international Parliamentary Community. It is one of the globally recognized documents for determining the extent of openness of a nation’s Parliament.
PNAfrica, with the support of the WFD, gathered empirical information on the perspectives of CSOs including the media on how transparent and socially inclusive the Parliament of Ghana is.
At the meeting participants also discussed and interrogated the draft Standing Orders of Parliament to determine how to engage Parliament on the review process to make it more open, transparent and inclusive.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson, with additional files from Clement Akoloh