The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, yesterday advised all Members of Parliament (MPs) who lost their seats in the December 7 parliamentary election to pack their files and vacate their offices at the Job 600 Office Complex by January 6, 2017.
He said the early vacation of the offices by the MPs was to facilitate the transition process from the existing Parliament to the new one.
The Speaker told the MPs that he had already packed and was only awaiting the conclusion of final proceedings of the House to vacate his office.
Speaking at the first sitting of Parliament yesterday after the December 7 general election, Mr Adjaho said: “I urge all of you non-returning MPs to leave these parliamentary precincts with enthusiasm and hope and demonstrate same by packing out and vacating your respective offices by January 6, 2017 in order to facilitate a smooth transition for the MPs elected to replace you.
“To serve as an example, I have, as Speaker, already packed and only awaiting the conclusion of our final proceedings to vacate the Speaker’s Office to enable the incoming Speaker to assume his role seamlessly,” he said.
Many MPs, especially those from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and a few from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), lost their seats and their stay in Parliament expires with the current Parliament on the night of January 6, 2017.
In the same way, the tenure of the Speaker of Parliament and his deputies expires on the night of January 6, 2017.
There are 275 MPs, all of whom have offices at the Job 600 Office Complex located at the precinct of Parliament House in Accra.
The NDC is currently the Majority in Parliament, but with the more than 40 seats it lost to the NPP in the December 7 parliamentary election, the NPP will be in the Majority in the next Parliament with 171 seats, as against the NDC’s 104.
As expected, many NPP MPs were in white attire to demonstrate their joy with the electoral victory.
Mr Adjaho congratulated MPs who had retained their seats on their hard-fought victory and commended those who had lost for the honourable manner in which they conducted themselves before, during and after the general election.
He reassured outgoing MPs that “the God of the Mountain is still the God of the Valley. You may find solace in the incontestable truth that, with God as your anchor, there is, indeed, life beyond Parliament”.
Another former MP as President
The Speaker congratulated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his election to the high office of President of Ghana.
“Indeed, we are gratified that another former member of this House has been elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of its Armed Forces,” he said.
Mr Adjaho expressed the hope that having served as an MP for three consecutive terms, the President-elect would bring his understanding and wealth of parliamentary experience to bear on his Executive office.
The Speaker commended President John Dramani Mahama for accepting the election results and personally calling Nana Akufo-Addo to concede defeat and congratulate him.
That, he said, was a clear demonstration of the President’s high level of statesmanship, particularly when contrasted with what was happening almost simultaneously in The Gambia.
Mr Adjaho lauded the Electoral Commission (EC), the security agencies, religious bodies, civil society organisations, local and international observers and development partners for their respective roles in ensuring free and fair elections.