Same President New Parliament
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo delivered his last State of the Nation Address for his first time in office on Tuesday.
He was re-elected on December 7 with 51.3% of the votes. But a petition by the opposition, alleging irregularities in the vote, has been filed at the Supreme Court.
In Akufo-Addo's speech, he urged parliament to unite.
“The good people of Ghana have spoken and given Parliament an almost equal strength on both sides of the House; we have no choice but to work with the consequences of the desires of the people.”
This delivery — the last in Akufo-Addo’s first term to the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic, is an annual address to Parliament given by the President that covers the economic, social, and financial state of the country.
But the next parliament has no clear majority, meaning it could prove challenging to pass reforms. Both the opposition and the ruling party having 137 MPs each, with one independent MP.
Cabinet Makeover for the Next 4 Years
The current parliament, which began on January 7, 2017, will dissolve on the night of January 6, 2021, and usher in the next, to be inaugurated on January 7, 2021, before which the president — whose re-election victory opponent John Mama is legally contesting via a petition, would also be sworn-in.
The Head of State added, “Mr Speaker, the next parliament is not going to be anything like this one that ends today. I do not suggest that the House might not be as busy, but the sitting arrangements, the source and decibel levels of sound from the House would certainly be different.”
Akufo-Addo also urged the House to be more accommodating of each other’s views and devise new ways of conducting its affairs.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced the country's GDP from 6.5% to 1.9% this year.