There have been a lot of happenings in the country since president Akufo-Addo took over power; however, no one ever expected some unprecedented events in the 8th parliament.

Despite the fact that each parliament has its unique attributes and characteristics that define it, Ghana's 8th parliament has not been without some interesting events that may go down in the history books of the country.

In this piece, we explore some of these incidents:

Hung Parliament:

There have been major incidents in the 7th and 8th parliament of the 4th republic, but a hung parliament in the 8th parliament shocked Ghanaians after the 2020 elections.

After the 2020 general and parliamentary elections, the minority garnered 137 seats, and the majority had 137 seats in parliament, making 274 with one independent candidate.

With this development, many believed it would cure the winner-take-all system and was exactly what Ghana needed.

Speaker from the opposition party

For the first time in the fourth republic, parliament has a speaker who is from the opposition party.

Alban Bagbin was elected as the Speaker of parliament on January 7, 2022.

Prior to his election, there was chaos in parliament, including the snatching of ballot boxes by some Members of Parliament.

In the end, Alban Bagbin emerged winner in his contest against then-incumbent Speaker, Mike Oquaye.

This has been described as unprecedented in the 4th republic.

NPP MPs calling for Adwoa Safo's seat to be declared vacant

In April, three MPs were referred to Parliament's Privileges Committee by the Speaker, Alban Bagbin, after a petition was filed by a former Member of Parliament for Kumbungu Constituency.

The Speaker's directive was in line with Article 97 (1) (c) of the 1992 Constitution and Order 17 of the Standing Orders of Parliament, which states emphatically that "A Member shall not absent himself during a meeting for more than fifteen sittings without the permission in writing of the Speaker. Any member infringing this Order shall have his conduct referred to the Privileges Committee."

The Privileges Committee produced a report after meeting the two other MPs, Ken Agyapong and Henry Quartey, and presented it to parliament.

The Privileges Committee, in their report, said they could not reach Adwoa Safo; therefore, they could not come out with a decision, but the majority maintained that whether or not they heard from Adwoa Safo, the constitution stated clearly that the seat should be declared vacant as it was automatic for it to be so.

However, when the report was brought to the house, the majority leader insisted that the committee had submitted the report to the house and the report had been laid for the information of the house and, therefore, a decision had already been determined concerning the three persons and the imperatives of article 97 would automatically be triggered.

The majority leader added that what was captured as a motion in the order paper had issues as the purpose of a motion is for the house to make a determination, one he considers already determined (by declaring the seat vacant).

"Mr Speaker, the privileges committee have submitted the report, and indeed my own thinking and the incumbent of the situation is that once the committee has made a determination in respect of the three persons, then the imperative of Article 97 will automatically be triggered.

"Mr Speaker, my thinking is that even what is captured here as a motion; the purpose of a motion is for the house to make a determination and thinking that rarely this is not for the house to make a determination.

The minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, argued that the house is governed by the 1992 constitution and the standing orders of the house.

According to him, the house should not set a precedent that a seat can be declared vacant based on recommendations of a Privileges Committee report, a precedent that could likely affect the house subsequently.

Haruna Iddrisu emphasized that if a report has been submitted to parliament, the house must take a decision.

However, the Speaker dismissed this call by the majority, stating that the report from the committee was not final but to be brought before the house for the plenary to take a decision on the matter.

NPP MPs protesting against an appointee of their govt

On October 25, a group of New Patriotic Party (NPP) Members of Parliament petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sack the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and the Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu Boahen, to restore public confidence in the economy.

This was announced in a media briefing by their spokesperson, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, Member of Parliament for Asante-Akim North.

The group said it will not partake in government business nor support the 2023 Budget if the president fails to heed their calls.

According to them, the move follows previous concerns sent to the government that had not yielded any positive results.

"We have had occasions to defend allegations of conflicts of interest, lack of confidence, and trust against the leadership of the Finance Ministry.

"The recent development within the economy is of major concern to our caucus and our constituents. We have made our grave concern to our president through the parliamentary leadership and the leadership of the party without and positive response," Andy Appiah Kubi said.

The MPs believe the move will change the current economic situation in the country.

This action has been described as unprecedented, as many have also called on the president to take action to avoid political instability.

Source: ghanaweb