Alban Bagbin, the current Speaker of Parliament, was on his way out of the lawmaking chamber after close to three decades before his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), invited him back to contest the office of speaker.
After winning the rancorous January 8, 2021, election, Bagbin was back in the chamber to lead proceedings. He still holds the record for the longest-serving Member of Parliament to date—a combined 28 years, i.e., between 1993 and 2021.
In the current Parliament, the eighth under the Fourth Republic, a number of high-profile MPs have already announced that they will not contest to return to the House when the ninth Parliament is convened in 2025.
Two of them are in the current leadership of Parliament, while the other two are known to be bigwigs in their respective parties.
GhanaWeb looks at the four MPs who have so far declared that they will be bowing out:
Kennedy Agyapong, Assin Central
In August 2020, Agyapong announced that he will be quitting Parliament after 24 years representing the constituency located in the Central Region.
His main reason for leaving, he said, was partly disappointment and partly a desire to allow someone else to try to achieve as much as he did during his tenure.
To buttress the seriousness of his decision, he told a gathering of party faithful at Fosu: “Even if I’m given 1,000 cows, I will not go back because I want the people to know that I am fighting for their wellbeing and not myself as an MP.”
In the months that followed, it turned out that Agyapong’s presidential ambition may have played a role in his decision to quit Parliament, and the Ken City CEO has announced that he will be contesting the flagbearership race of the governing New Patriotic Party.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, MP for Suame
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu announced weeks ago that he will not return to the lawmaking chamber after the 2024 polls.
The MP, who is also the Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, disclosed in an interview on Wontumi TV (January 3) that with his age and the number of terms he has served so far, it was time to move on to other things.
“I have said it clearly that, per my age, I will end it here and show my gratitude. People at the regional and national levels are piling pressure on me to contest even to this very minute, but I have spoken and made my stance clear,” he stressed.
He is currently serving his seventh consecutive term as an MP, having been elected in 1996, and has vowed to resist any attempts to persuade him to change his mind.
Cletus Avoka, Zebilla MP
Cletus Apul Avoka, Member of Parliament for Zebilla, announced that he will not be contesting the Zebilla seat in 2024. He would have served for 24 years as an MP by the time the current Parliament ends, representing a number of constituencies.
He served in the first two parliaments from 1993 to 2005, where he lost his seat to the late John Ndebugri; at the time the constituency was known as Bawku West Constituency. In 2009, he re-entered as the second MP for the Zebilla Constituency.
Cletus Avoka was also the MP for Garu Tempane from 2000 to 2004 (as an independent candidate).
He has also held a number of ministerial positions and held leadership roles in the House. His first ministerial position was as Minister for Lands and Forestry in the government of Jerry Rawlings and as Minister for the Interior.
According to him, his decision to bow out was to give the younger ones in his constituency the opportunity to serve.
In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb’s Nimatu Yakubu Atouyese, he said;
“I have contested all the 8 elections in this Parliament and by the end of 2024, I would have done 24 years in parliament and I think some young men and women have become of age in the constituency. I have grown enough in the constituency, and I am confident that if I step down and a younger fellow takes over, the fellow will be guided, and the fellow will do well.”
James Klutse Avedzi, Ketu North
The Member of Parliament for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi, is reportedly on his way out of Parliament ahead of the 2024 elections.
The MP, who is currently the deputy minority leader, has been in the House since the constitution of the fourth Parliament and has won five consecutive terms thereafter.
He will thus be exiting after two decades of service to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the lawmaking chamber.
The NDC’s former deputy National Communications Officer, Edem Agbana has stated his readiness to contest for the vacancy to be created with the exit of Avedzi.