Afenyo-Markin, Ato Forson Make History As Youngest Leaders In Ghana’s Parliament

By; Gifty Arthur

The 8th Parliament, has recorded yet another history, after emerging as hung House on the eve of January 7, 2021,which saw an opposition stalwart, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, dramatically elected as Speaker from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority group.

This time, the current Parliament does not only have two friends, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin and Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, as Majority and Minority leaders respectively, and from the same Central Region, but also, the two are incidentally of the same age, 46 and arguably the youngest so far.

In recent past, the story of the now Speaker Alban Bagbin and Member of Parliament (MP) for the Suame constituency, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, can be told on how they played their roles as Majority and Minority Leaders respectively, yet remained close friends to the point that, they even campaigned for each other in their respective constituencies during their parties’ parliamentary primaries.

The Anchor’s checks, show that the current leaders aside referring to themselves as “friend and brother” are the youngest to have occupied the seats at the same time, since the inception of the 4th Republic.

Though the two Members of Parliament (MP),representing the people of Effutu and Ejumako-Enyan-Essiam, entered the House at different periods, have jointly achieved this feat after benefitting from what some labelled as unpopular changes made by their respective political parties.


For instance, in the case of lawyer and third term MP, Afenyo-Markin, born on May 27, 1978, he was last Friday officially announced by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as leader of the Majority, after weeks of speculations in the media space and at corridors of power.

Dr Forson on the other hand, born on August 5, 1978 and marked his 46th birthday with Afenyo-Markin at a private dinner together last year, became the Minority Leader through similar circumstance a year ago.


Their elevations were fiercely resisted by some of their caucus members, but in the end, there was some semblance of consensus built.

The Effutu MP’s appointment as mentioned initially did not come easy, as it was resisted by some colleagues among the Majority side, led by a heavyweight and 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, through a hurriedly organized press conference.

But after a crucial meeting with the President, the caucus came to an amicable agreement and the Suame MP heeded to the call to resign from his position.


Though many have assigned various reasons to the changes, the party has refrained from giving reasons except to say that it is its way of ensuring that they are able to break the 8.

The appointment of the Effutu MP, was announced by Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who subsequently resigned from his position as the Majority leader, paving the way for his successor.

The changes came in the wake of President Akufo-Addo’s final and major reshuffle on Valentine’s eve, February 14, 2024.

Mr Afenyo-Markin, served under Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, as his deputy for over three years, until the sudden changes were effected last week.

The Suame MP, has since been appointed as chairman of the Manifesto Committee of NPP flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s 2024 campaign.

The Effutu lawmaker, is one of the best performing MPs at the forefront of the Majority, who did not get ministerial appointment since 2017.

In the first four years of the administration, he was appointed Board chairman of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL).

In his current role, he will be deputized by the Asokwa MP and former Kumasi Mayor, Patricia Appiagyei.

Minority rebellion

On the Minority side, the now Minority Leader, who took over from a very powerful northern politician and Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu, also had some of his colleagues, especially from the north revolting against his appointment.

The changes were made through the instrumentality of the Johnson Asiedu Nketia-led NDC national executive committee few months after they were elected, and subsequent election of former President John Dramani Mahamaas flagbearer.

Everything unfolded last year January and was seen as an obvious push by the party executives.

The Ejumako-Enyan-Essiam MP, entered Parliament in 2009, but could not catch the eye of the then President, late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills for ministerial appointment.

The member of the finance committee was subsequently appointed a deputy minister for Finance by former President Mahama in 2013 in the 6th Parliament.

Best Decision For NPP

Meanwhile, MP for Akim Swedru constituency, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has hailed the appointment of his colleague as the best decision for the NPP.

The lawmaker who takes pride in the fact that he entered Parliament with Mr Afenyo-Markin, said in an interview that, “I am much happy for my colleagues especially the new Majority, Leader Afenyo-Markin.

I mean this is an excellent young man who for the past years has demonstrated commitment and competent when it comes to things about the party and government and since he became the deputy leader in the House, he has demonstrated how worthy he is when it comes to things of the house and of government and if you have such a person leading you now as the majority leader it is now that we are expectant of his great delivery and I know he is going to deliver.

He’s my colleague, we both came to Parliament the same year and when a young man who is in his early 40s, it has not happened in our party before giving a young man who is in his early 40s to lead as Majority Leader this is a record breaking, this is a record we are breaking as a political party bringing such a person to lead us. And not to lead us but to be able to work with the caucus to deliver power come December 7 and that is our focus”.

While, Dr Ato Forson has about two years to work as Minority Leader, his counterpart lawyer Afenyo-Markin, has barely 10 months, but he has pledged to work together with the minority to bring peace and harmony to the House.

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