September 9, 2019

Former Minister for the Central Region in the erstwhile John Mahama administration, Kweku Ricketts Hagan has said Ghana’s Legislature needs a blend of experience legislators and new lawmakers who would like to take over.

According to the Cape Coast South Legislator, a Parliament with short lifespan needs appreciable percentage of experienced lawmakers at all times to ensure effective passage of institutional memories.

He again pointed out that new MPs need to learn from those who have been there and done it, “if the experienced ones are not around it is like starting everything again and learning everything; those are the things we need to take a look at”.

“It does not enrich our Parliament, you want to have fresh ideas, but experience and good ideas are also important hence the need for a balanced Parliament. I do not have answers now as to how it can be done”.

He noted that in certain jurisdictions some people are appointed to Parliament and they are more or less able to keep them for a long period of time.

He made this remarks in an interview in the wake of the primaries of the Minority where some senior and long serving lawmakers were defeated and lamented that it was unfortunate.

“Parliament has become attractive which is good that many people want to come to Parliament, hence people are ready to contest you the very day you are elected. But if we are going to get a strong Parliament, we need to build it with people with experience”.

In the United States of America, Congress and Senate is usually dominated by elderly people who have been around for a long time,  you do see young ones who are coming through, but they do not do away with the experienced ones.

The young ones come and meet the experience ones and they work alongside. There seems to be an unwritten succession plan that goes on and, “I think those are the things we should be looking at”.

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Majority side would be having their primaries, and there would be “casualties” presumably experienced people would lose and this has to be addressed if we are to build a Parliament of knowledge.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/