The chair of the governing board of Afrobarometer and co-founder of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, has said he wishes Ghana continues to have a hung Parliament.
He said this will help cure the winner-takes-all system and help shape the country’s democratic process.
Speaking with Kent Mensah on Sunday Night on Asaase Radio, Professor Gyimah-Boadi said: “… I pray for more hung Parliaments. I think that is exactly what Ghana and Ghanaian democratic politics needed. It’s the kind of cure that we need for winner-takes-all.
“It is the kind of environment that we need in order to learn the habit of consensus building, cross-party consultation and compromise; because if the Majority and Minority sides don’t have the numbers, hopefully rather than go to war they will learn to talk.”
He said the fighting in Parliament was a bad behaviour “because they are not acting as statesmen and women. It’s because they are not being tolerant of each other, they are not being accommodating and we need to have all these things in order for democratic politics to work smoothly in Ghana; in order to arrive at policy positions that are implementable over the life of different administrations and parties in government.
Prof Gyimah-Boadi also has mixed feelings about Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament.
Asked whether he has been impressed with the current Speaker of Parliament, he said: “Yes and No. First, I just wish and hoped that he [Bagbin] speaks less. I hope that he doesn’t interject himself and his personal views in the business of Parliament because he’s the one person in that House who is unelected…”
Supreme Court decision on Deputy Speakers
On the recent decision of the Supreme Court on whether deputy speakers of Parliament can vote when presiding, he said: “Surely, so long as our deputy speakers are parliamentarians they cannot be stopped from representing their constituencies when it comes to parliamentary decisions, especially where those decisions affect the material welfare or have a bearing on the material welfare of the people in their constituencies. So that ruling itself was completely perfect.
“For me, if Ghana doesn’t want its deputy speakers to have a vote in parliament then we should drop that system and appoint public servants to those positions. And they will just be public servants serving as referees using the parliamentary handbook or guidelines on parliamentary work.”
Watch the full interview below:
— Asaase Radio (@asaaseradio995) April 11, 2022