IMANI Centre for Policy and Education (IMANI Africa), a think tank on Monday described the composition of Ghana’s next Parliament as God-sent.
According to the Electoral Commission (EC), the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) won 137 legislative seats, while the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had 136, with one independent and one seat yet to be decided at Sene West Constituency in the Bono East Region.
“This Parliament and the way it is constructed from the elections, actually, it is God sent, and I think we are beginning to see the real governance, where government (the executive) will no longer have its way in Parliament.
“Where you will not see bills that are frightening being given the nod at the frightening speed of lightening,” Mr Franklin Cudjoe, the Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Africa, stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
He said under the new Parliament, there would be proper conversations and ministers would have to be present in Parliament and not send representatives to defend ideas or defend position.
“And so, I think this Parliament, however the permutation, even if there is three or four majoritarian from either party, you could still see that the Parliament is the one that is structurally designed to be effective, and to be an effective check on the executive.”
He noted that civil society had been looking for a perfect opportunity to understand how governance could be responsibly administered.
“Our constitution does not allow us to have some sort of sharing of ideas by political parties or even with the civil society organizations,” he said.
He said “it had always been the case that the President had so much power and decides everything in the country and that if it happens that here was a majoritarian Parliament in addition, that worsens the woes of people”.
With regards to the impact of the next Parliament, Mr Cudjoe said the nation would be having qualitative debates going into any policy decision that would be made.
Concerning the size of the ongoing government, Mr. Cudjoe said: “I think it will be useful if the President decides to take a hard look at some of his decisions; including the bloated size of government.
“I mean a ministry like Information, used to have three deputies and I wonder, because even without the Information Ministry this country will survive. So, to have a ministry and three deputies at some point in time was just not helpful……”
“I suspect that the current government, will now learn some lessons from the polls, I suspect it will make some hard decisions and cut the number down and then ensure that there is efficiency. It’s the only way to go real,” he added.
Touching on the outcome of the December 7 polls, Mr Cudjoe said Ghanaians had done a lot of good; stating that “I think that those candidates who believed that they’ve lost the election must use a legal means to pursue their interest”.
He suggested that there was a need for Ghanaians to have serious conversations about the reforms of the Electoral Commission (EC).
He said: “I hope that Ghanaians will take a hard look at the electoral commission again and then make sure that there are significant reforms.”