Parliamentary seats must be reduced from 275 to 200 — Afenyo-Markin proposes

From 200 Members of Parliament in 1992, parliament now has 75 more MPs making the number 275.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has expressed dissatisfaction about the ballooning size of parliament since the 1992 constitution came into force.

He has proposed that the number of seats in Parliament be reduced from 275 to 200.

Afenyo-Markin believes his proposal will ease pressure on the public purse.

Speaking at this year’s GIMPA Law Conference on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, he said “I must say that one critical thing to look at is to put an upper limit on the number of MPs that we must elect each year. It is unpalatable that a small country like Ghana with its many financial problems has 275 MPs. In contrast with all its financial muscle, Australia has 151 and 76 senators. We need a change in the law to stop the unnecessary expansion in the number of seats in our Parliament.”

According to him, Ghana needs an Upper chamber which will be known as the House of Elders adding that the Council of State be converted to serve this purpose.

“I hold the view that Ghana needs an upper chamber, it should be known as the House of Elders whose election shall remain non-partisan and whose primary role shall be to moderate the current parliamentary excesses and extreme partisanship.

“Thus the Council of State should be converted into the Upper Chamber of Parliament…I am not suggesting that the current Council of State is not helpful,” he explained.

The chronic absenteeism and unsatisfactory performance of MPs have compelled Ghanaians to question the rationale for having as many as 275 MPs.

Earlier, the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu complained about the size of Parliament. He said the number is too huge.

He was joined by North Tongu lawmaker Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who wants a cap of 200 parliamentarians.

But NDC MP for Yapei Kusawgu Constituency, Northern Region, John Jinapor wants the constitutional provision on the creation of new constituencies reviewed.

Below is the history of the size of parliament:

Ghana’s first Parliament had 104 seats in 1954

Ghana’s second parliament had 143seats in 1969

Ghana’s third parliament had 107 seats in 1979

Ghana’s fourth parliament had 200 seats in 1992

Seats were increased to 230 in 2004 and 275 in 2012.


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