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Longevity in Parliament: “We need to build our democracy to benefit”---Sam George

As the two major political parties in Ghana’s Parliament, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) prepare for their primaries, the issue of retaining lawmakers for reasons of experience comes to play.

Ahead of the primaries new entrance are scheming and making everything possible to unseat incumbent Members of Parliament.

According to the lawmaker for Ningo-Prampram, Sam Nartey George, he holds a unique view on retaining lawmakers for a longer period as he believe the Ghanaian democracy needs to grow to a certain level, with structures built to certain level to have full benefit from that. 

“At this point in our Parliamentary democracy which is barely around twenty five (25) years old, we do not have the structures in place”.

He further pointed out in an interview that the longevity of an individual in the Parliamentary chamber, there is a high probability of a drop in drive but as a lawmaker it is all about public service.

Also when you take the US for instance, the congress man or woman, you realize that their lawmakers are not developmental lobbyist because their system and democracy has developed to a stage where development happens by way of national agenda.
So you realize that the congress men and women are basically policy makers, when a person is focused on policy making their longevity makes them better for institutional memory, but in our case your contribution to policy direction is limited and the preserve of central government. 

 “The argument for longevity is not something I prescribe to at this point in time, I am young and people would expect me to be in Parliament for so many years, I entered Parliament when I was turning thirty one (31) years. I can’t see myself doing this for sixteen (16) or twenty (20) years”.

Mr. Samuel Nartey George   pointed out that the burden one carries as a lawmaker in Ghana is different from that of their counterpart in the US or the West, “the burden of development are huge they take a toll on you as an individual”.

“If you look at the analysis of people who have stayed long in our Parliament they serve five to six terms of their four year mandate, very few of them still have the drive and still have connection with their delegates and constituent you realize that after a period of time they lose a certain drive because of the toll of demands”.

 Again for me we are human and for me public office is about public service if you lose that drive, you have no business in that office again, because you do not give that same commitment level you started with, he said. 

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/ 

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