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GHANA
Parliament

This page contains the full text of the PARLINE database entry on the selected parliamentary chamber, with the exception of Specialized bodies modules which, because of their excessive length, can be only viewed and printed separately.

Modules:
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
More photos  >>>
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Affiliation to the IPU Yes
Affiliation date(s) 1958 - 1966
1970 - 1972
1980 - 1982
1993 -
LEADERSHIP
President Edward Doe Adjaho (M) 
Notes Elected on 7 Jan. 2013.
Secretary General Emmanuel K. Anyimadu (M) 
COMPOSITION
Members (statutory / current number) 275 / 275
PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN


More statistics  >>>
Women (current number) 30 (10.91%)
Mode of designation directly elected 275
Term 4 years
Last renewal dates 7 December 2012
(View details)
CONTACT INFORMATION
Address Parliament of Ghana
Parliament House
ACCRA
(Export mailing lists)
Phone (233 302) 66 40 42
302 66 45 30
Fax (233 302) 66 20 84
66 59 57
E-mail clerk@parliament.gh
Website
http://www.parliament.gh/

ELECTORAL SYSTEM

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Electoral law 5 July 1996
PUBLIC ELECTIONS REGULATIONS, 1996 (CI 15)
Mode of designation directly elected 275
Constituencies 230 single-member constituencies.
Voting system Majority: Direct simple majority system.
Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections.
Voting is not compulsory.
Voter requirements - age: 18 years
- Ghanaian citizenship
- ineligibility: insanity
CANDIDATES
Eligibility - age: 21 years
- Ghanaian citizenship
- residence in the constituency where running or residence there for at least five of the 10 years immediately preceding the elections
- payment of taxes (or satisfactory arrangements to this effect)
- ineligibility: allegiance to a foreign State, undischarged bankrupts, detained criminal lunatics, conviction for high crime or treason or for an offence involving the security of the State, fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude, death sentence, imprisonment for at least 10 years, electoral offence, incompetence to hold public office, unlawful acquisition of assets while being a public officer, defraud of the State or misuse or abuse of office, wilful action in a manner prejudicial to the interest of the State
Incompatibilities - election-connected offices
- membership of the Civil Service and various other public services
- membership of the armed forces
- traditional chiefs
Candidacy requirements - support of qualified electors from same constituency
- deposit of 500 cedi, reimbursed if candidate obtains at least 12 per cent of the valid votes

LAST ELECTIONS

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
BACKGROUND
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 7 December 2012
Timing and scope of renewal President John Dramani Mahama's National Democratic Congress (NDC) won the elections with 148 seats, increasing its share of the legislature from 50 to 54 per cent. It pledged to work for economic growth and better energy supplies. The New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo took 123 seats, having campaigned to provide free secondary education.

Mr. Mahama, who had assumed the presidency in July 2012 following the death of President John Atta Mills, won the presidential elections with 50.7, narrowly beating Mr. Akufo-Addo who took 47.8%. The latter filed a petition at the Supreme Court to challenge the results, citing irregularities. The Election Commission denied the allegation and filed a separate petition at the Supreme Court, requesting the details of the irregularities.

Commonwealth observers stated that the 2012 elections had met "many of the benchmarks for democratic elections, though aspects of the administrative system and the environment for the polls can still be improved further". The elections followed heated debate over the creation of 45 new constituencies prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections (see note).

Note:
Article 47(5) of the 1992 Constitution stipulates "The Electoral Commission shall review the division of Ghana into constituencies at intervals of not less than seven years, or within twelve months after the publication of the enumeration figures after the holding of a census of the population of Ghana, whichever is earlier, and may, as a result, alter the constituencies."

The statutory number of parliamentary seats had previously been raised in 2004 from 200 to 230. In June 2012, the Electoral Commission's announcement of 45 new constituencies (raising the total to 275) attracted widespread criticism from the NPP and civil society groups, as possibly favouring the NDC. The creation of the new seats was approved by parliament in October.
Date of previous elections: 7 December 2008

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 6 January 2013

Timing of election: Upon normal expiry

Expected date of next elections: December 2016

Number of seats at stake: 275 (full renewal)

Number of candidates: 1,332 (1,198 men, 134 women)

Percentage of women candidates: 10.1%

Number of parties contesting the election: 16

Number of parties winning seats: 3

Alternation of power: No

Number of parties in government: 1

Names of parties in government: National Democratic Congress (NDC)

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 7 January 2013

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Edward Doe Adjaho (NDC)
STATISTICS
Voter turnout
Round no 17 December 2012
Number of registered electors
Voters
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
14'031'793
11'246'982 (80.15%)

Notes Turnout figures for the presidential elections.
Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political group Candidates Votes % of votes
National Democratic Congress (NDC)
New Patriotic Party (NPP)
Convention People's Party (CPP)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total of seats
National Democratic Congress (NDC) 148
New Patriotic Party (NPP) 123
Convention People's Party (CPP) 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Men

Women

Percent of women
245

30

10.91%
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Comments
Sources:
Parliament (08.02.2013, 09.03.2013, 11.03.2013)
http://www.ec.gov.gh

PRESIDENCY OF THE PARLIAMENTARY CHAMBER

Parliament name Parliament
Structure of parliament Unicameral
APPOINTMENT AND TERM OF OFFICE
Title Speaker of Parliament
Term - duration: 4 years (term of House)
- reasons for interruption of the term: becomes a Minister or Deputy Minister - illness leadind to incapacity - any action that disqualifies him for election as a Member of Parliament
Appointment elected by all Members of the Parliament at the first sitting day after the inauguration of the new Parliament, after Members are sworn in
Eligibility - Members of the Parliament nominated by their party, with formal notification of candidature
Voting system - formal vote by secret ballot at the simple majority
- if there is a succession of votes, new candidates are admitted and certain candidatures must be withdrawn in the light of the results of the previous vote
Procedures / results - the Clerk of Parliament presides over the Assembly during the voting
- the Clerk of Parliament and representatives of various parties in the Parliament supervise the voting
- the Clerk announces the results immediatly after the election,
-the result can be challenged
STATUS
Status - ranks third after the President of the Republic and his Vice President
- in the absence of the President of the Republic and his Vice President, the Speaker acts as Head of State
- represents the Parliament in international bodies (Union of African Parliaments, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, Inter-Parliamentary Union)
- is ex officio President of the Committee of Selection and of the Standing Orders Committee
- in the absence of the Speaker, two Deputy Speakers can assume his/her role and functions
Board - the Parliamentary Service Board is regulated by the Constitution
- is composed of 6 members: the Speaker (Chairman), a majority leader, a minority leader, a former M.P, a femal M.P, the Clerk of the Parliament
- meets once a month or when necessary, on the initiative of the Speaker
Material facilities - allowance
- official car
- official residence
- secretariat
- free medical care
- police protection
FUNCTIONS
Organization of parliamentary business - convenes sessions
- establishes and modifies the agenda
- organizes the debates and sets speaking time
- examines the admissibility of bills and amendments
- refers texts to a committee for study
- examines the admissibility of request for setting up committees and/or committees of enquiry, proposes or decides on the setting up of such committees
- appoints committees and their presiding officers
Chairing of public sittings - opens, adjourns and closes sittings
- ensures respect for provisions of the Constitution and Standing Orders
- makes announcements concerning the Assembly
- takes disciplinary measures in the event of disturbance, and lifts such measures, asks the Clerk to take appropriate action
- establishes the list of speakers, gives and withdraws permission to speak
- establishes the order in which amendments are taken up and selects which amendments are to be debated
- calls for a vote, decides how it is to be carried out, verifies the voting procedure and cancels a vote in the event of irregularities
- authenticates the adopted texts and the records of debates
- interprets the rules or other regulations governing the life of the Assembly
- has discretionary power to give the floor outside the agenda and thus organizes impromptu debates, with the consent of the House
Special powers - makes sure that appropriate budgetary allocations are given to Parliament
- is responsible for relations with foreign Parliaments
- is responsible for safety, and in this capacity, can call the police in the event of disturbance in the Chamber
Speaking and voting rights, other functions - provides guidelines for the interpretation or completion of the text under discussion
- refers bills to the appropriate committees
- presides and steers deliberations on bills until they are passed
- ensures that only relevant amendments are filled to bills
- must be consulted in certain circumstances (dissolution, appointment of the Prime Minister...)

This page was last updated on 11 March 2013
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