Posted: Friday 1st August 2014 at 9:06 am

Increase number of MPs to 400 – IEA proposes

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After nationwide consultations on the ‘Winner- Takes-All’ policy, the advisory committee of a policy think- tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has recommended an increase in the number of parliamentary seats from 275 to 400.

This, according to the committee, will help to create an opportunity to bring on board knowledgeable technical experts, marginalized groups as well as women to help and thus contribute more meaningfully to the development of the nation.

Mr Emile Short, a member of the advisory committee, told The General Telegraph in an interview last Thursday that the decision to cap the parliamentary seats at 400 had become necessary to ensure diversification of the composition of Parliament.

According to him, should the proposal be accepted, there would be no need for the Electoral Commission (EC) to create more constituencies in the future.

He says it is the considered view of the IEA that with additional seats, representation in the august house will be based on proportions, insisting that an affirmative action system should be enforced where the additional 125 seats will be reserved for marginalized groups such as women and persons with disabilities.

‘What we are saying is that, if we are able to increase the seats to 400, it would not go beyond that in future. The EC need not create more constituencies, it would need j to re-demarcate the constituency after a national consensus,’ he said.

According to him, there are many options being proposed to find means of solving the problems of Winner-Takes-All policy.

In addition, he thinks that the proposal was just one of the options or recommendations to help find ways of making people to meaningfully contribute their quota to the socio-economic development of the nation.

The IE A has for some time now been organising various fora to solicit views from Ghanaians on Winner-Takes-All policy.

IEA , after its consultations, believes that one of the options was to cap the seats in parliament to 400. The creation of new constituencies more often than not creates tension among the political parties.

Just before Ghana’s 2012 general election, the Electoral Commission carved out 75 additional seats to bring the number to the current 275. That exercise sparked accusations of gerrymandering against the governing National Democratic Congress.

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