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Parliament of Ghana
8th Parliament of the 4th Republic
Coat of arms or logo
Alban Bagbin (NDC)
since 7 January 2021
Majority Leader
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (NPP)
since 7 January 2017
Political groups
Majority (138): [1]
  •   NPP (137)
  •   Independent (1)

Minority (137):

Last election
7 December 2020
Meeting place
Parliament House
Accra, Greater Accra
Republic of Ghana

The Parliament of Ghana is the legislative body of the Government of Ghana.


Legislative representation in Ghana dates back to 1850, when the country was a British colony known as Gold Coast. The body called the Legislative Council, was purely advisory as the Governor exercised all legislative and executive powers. Reforms were introduced in 1916 and 1925, although the governor's power remained extensive. In 1946, a new constitution was introduced that allowed for an unofficial member of the Legislative Council to become its president while the governor ceased to be the ex officio president of the body. This system continued until 1951 when the Legislature elected its first Speaker - Sir Emmanuel Charles Quist.

1951 was also the first year that elections based on universal suffrage were held. The Convention People's Party (CPP) which was formed in 1949 and led by Kwame Nkrumah won the election. Another party called the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) led by J.B. Danquah fared poorly and was disbanded soon after. Nkrumah, who had been jailed in early 1950 for subversion, was released and appointed Leader of Government Business, becoming the country's first Prime Minister in the following year.

Legislative Assembly elections held in 1954 resulted in another CPP victory, with the party winning 71 out of a total of 104 seats. It also won 71 out of 104 seats in the 1956 Legislative Assembly election. The Gold Coast was renamed to Ghana and granted independence on Wednesday, 6 March 1957, while retaining the British monarch as head of state. The Legislative Assembly was renamed National Assembly.

After the approval of a new Republican constitution, Ghana officially became a republic on 1 July 1960 with Kwame Nkrumah as its President. The plebiscite was taken as a fresh mandate from the people and the terms of National Assembly members were extended for another five years. A one-party state was introduced following a referendum in 1964. As a result, only CPP candidates stood in the National Assembly Election held in 1965. Nkrumah was overthrown in 1966 by the military, which banned political parties and dissolved the National Assembly.

The country returned to civilian rule in 1969. Elections held on 29 August same year resulted in victory for the Progress Party (PP) of Kofi Abrefa Busia, which won 105 of the National Assembly's 140 seats. He took office as Prime Minister on 3 September 1969. His government was toppled in a 1972 military coup.

During the Third Republic, which lasted from 1979 to 1981, the dominant party in the National Assembly was the People's National Party (PNP), led by Hilla Limann, which won 71 out of 104 seats in elections held on 18 June 1979. After the military intervened in 1981, all elected institutions were dissolved and political party activity was prohibited.[citation needed]

Parliament of the Fourth Republic

After 11 years of military rule, a new constitution was approved in a 1992 referendum. Presidential elections were held in November and were won by Jerry Rawlings, leader of the 1981 coup and subsequent military ruler. The opposition contested the results and boycotted the December parliamentary elections. As a result, Rawlings' National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 189 out of 200 seats in Parliament.

All parties participated in the 1996 parliamentary elections. The NDC won 133 out of a total of 200 seats, while the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) won 60. Two smaller political party groups won the remaining seats.

The 2000 elections were significant in the sense that, President Rawlings was constitutionally barred from seeking another term. In the presidential poll, John Kufuor of the NPP defeated the NDC candidate John Atta Mills in a run-off election. In the 200-seat Parliament, the NPP won 100, followed by the NDC's 92. Smaller political party groups and independent candidates won the remaining seats.

Kufuor was re-elected in 2004 and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) won 128 out of 230 seats in the concurrent parliamentary election. The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 94, while two other parties - The People's National Convention (PNC) and Convention People's Party (CPP) - won 4 and 3 seats respectively. Independent candidates captured the remaining seat.

The simple majority (or First Past the Post) voting system is used in Ghana's parliamentary elections. Since 2012, the country is divided into 275 single-member constituencies. Members serve four-year terms.

Leadership structure

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands after delivering a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament at the Parliament House in July 2009
US Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivering a speech to the Ghanaian Parliament at the Parliament House in July 2019

The Speaker cannot be a Member of Parliament though they must possess the qualifications to stand for elections as a Member of Parliament, such person on appointment as Speaker must resign and declare the seat occupied in Parliament as vacant. The Speaker is assisted by two Deputy Speakers (First and Second Deputy Speakers), who are elected at the commencement of every Parliament. They must come from different political parties. The current Speaker is Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin.[3]

2020 elections

Main article: 2020 Ghanaian general election

The distribution of seats among the parties following the 2020 general election is as follows.[4]

Composition of Parliament after the 2018 Ghanaian new regions referendum

Region NPP NDC Ind. Total
Ahafo 4 2 - 6
Ashanti 42 4 1 47
Bono 6 6 - 12
Bono East 3 8 - 11
Central 10 13 - 23
Eastern 25 8 - 33
Greater Accra 14 20 - 34
Northern 9 9 - 18
North East 4 2 - 6
Oti - 8 - 8
Savannah 3 4 - 7
Upper East 1 14 - 15
Upper West 3 8 - 11
Volta 1 17 - 18
Western 9 8 - 17
Western North 3 6 - 9
Total 137 137 1 275

Committees of Parliament

As at November 2020, the Parliament had fourteen Standing Committees and sixteen Select Committees. There was also one ad hoc committee.[5]

Standing Committees:

Appointments • Business • Committee of Selection • Finance • Gender and Children
Government Assurance • House • Judiciary • Members Holding Offices of Profit • Privileges
Public Accounts • Special Budget • Standing Orders • Subsidiary Legislation

Select Committees:

Communications • Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs • Defence and Interior • Education • Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises
Environment, Science and Technology • Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs • Foreign Affairs • Health • Lands and Forestry • Local Government and Rural Development
Mines and Energy • Roads and Transport • Standing Orders • Trade, Industry and Tourism • Works and Housing • Youth, Sports and Culture

Ad-hoc Committee:
Poverty Reduction Strategy committee

Past Speakers of the National Assembly/Parliament

Main article: Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana

Gold Coast (1951 – 1957)

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and National Assembly in 1957

Name Took office Left office Notes
Emmanuel Charles Quist March 1951 December 1957 [6]

Independent State within the Commonwealth (1957 – 1960) / First Republic (1960 – 1966)

Ghanaian Parliamentary Election Map, 2008
Map of Ghana's parliamentary constituencies as per MP's party affiliation as at 2008. NB: Where constituencies are too small to be shown (i.e. Accra and Tamale Metropolitan Areas) the majority party elected in the district is shown.

Green: National Democratic Congress (NDC) Blue: New Patriotic Party (NPP) Yellow: People's National Convention (PNC) Red: Convention People's Party (CPP)

Grey: Independent

Speakers of the National Assembly

Name Took office Left office Notes
Augustus Molade Akiwumi February 1958 June 1960 [6]
Joseph Richard Asiedu July 1960 June 1965 [6]
Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta 10 June 1965 24 February 1966 [6]

Second Republic (1969 – 1972)

Speaker of the National Assembly

Name Took office Left office Notes
Nii Amaa Ollennu October 1969 13 January 1972 [6]

Third Republic (1979 – 1981)

Speaker of the National Assembly

Name Took office Left office Notes
Jacob Hackenbug Griffiths-Randolph 24 September 1979 31 December 1981 [6]

Fourth Republic (1992 – present)

Speakers of Parliament

Name Took office Left office Notes
Daniel Francis Annan 7 January 1993 6 January 2001 [6]
Peter Ala Adjetey 7 January 2001 6 January 2005 [6]
Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes 7 January 2005 6 January 2009 [6]
Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo 7 January 2009 6 January 2013 [6]
Edward Adjaho 7 January 2013 6 January 2017 [6]
Aaron Mike Oquaye 7 January 2017 6 January 2021 [6]
Alban Sumani Bagbin 7 January 2021 Incumbent [3]

Members of parliament

The composition of the Parliament has changed over the years. There were 140 members in both the Second and the Third Republic parliaments.

In the current Fourth Republic, the number of MPs first increased to 200 and subsequently to 275. There have been 8 parliaments so far in the Fourth Republic.[7] The list of its members are below.

Parliamentary constituencies

Main article: Ghana Parliament constituencies

See also


  1. ^ "NPP asks Speaker Bagbin to remain impartial as it maintains majority". Myjoyonline. 21 January 2021. Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  2. ^ "Statistics". Ghana Elections Peace Fm Online. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Bagbin elected Speaker of Parliament". MyJoyOnline. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Parliamentary Results For Elections 2020". Retrieved 10 April 2024.
  5. ^ "Committees of Parliament". Parliament of Ghana. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Parliament of Ghana".
  7. ^ "Who is Alban Bagbin? All You Need to Know About Ghana's 7th Speaker of Parliament | The Accra Times". 7 January 2021. Retrieved 6 March 2021.

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