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ECOWAS Parliament needs full time MPs --- Opare Ansah

A member of Ghana’s representative to the third and fourth Community Parliament, Fredrick Opare- Ansah has said it is time to get full time lawmakers for the Community Parliament and end the current part time system.   

According to him this can be achieved, if ECOWAS has a chairman of the Authority of Heads of States, who has the political will to get MPs elected directly, it would solve the issue of the Community Parliament having a full legislative powers.

Sharing his thoughts on twenty years down the lane in the existence of the Parliament, he noted that during his time, Authority of Heads of States and Government were reluctant in giving out some of the legislative powers, because members were yet to be elected directly to the Parliament.

Again, basically there were part time MPs in place and not full time. They were not there long enough and the attrition rate was high, there was always two or more countries who were going for elections year out of the ECOWAS country in the four years span of the life of the Parliament. 

“Members would lose, leave and some would be appointed as Ministers, so the attrition rate was high and became a matter of concern, with the kind of structure and setup of the Legislative agenda of the Parliament was impaired”.   

He further pointed out that the quality of the members was an issue. They were transient and could not be relied on for any serious drafting of legislation, so the Heads of States thought, by the time it gets to full elections through adult suffrage, every country would have gotten to the point where they transfer full legislative powers.  

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com

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