August 11, 2020

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has warn that as a country if we do not have career lawmakers the Executive arm of government would become over bearing and dominate the political space.

According to him the Executive arm of government would want to deal with a weak Parliament hence the need to strengthen Parliament and the key issue which needs attention is growing the Legislature and the lawmakers.

Mr. Osei-Kyei emphasized the need for political parties to choose Members of Parliament and the Executives at all levels and not engaging in conducting elections within the parties at the very lowest level.

And added that the process of conducting elections every four years does not exist in established democracies where party chairman or chairpersons have to move across the county to be elected at his or her own expense.

“If the person gets elected, he or she would have to work out in taking back funds invested, so with regional and constituency chairman, how can you elect a party general secretary who would say to himself, I do not want this person to lead the party he would do everything possible to frustrate the effort of a presidential candidate?”

He emphasized the need to develop career MPs by putting in measures in place to ensure longevity, and lamented that regardless of the number of terms one had served in Parliament, a second deputy speakers takes same salary with a first timer in the House as there is nothing to indicate one has served parliament for seven terms.

Delivering his closing remarks at working dialogue organized by his Ministry for core leadership of the House, first of its kind for the seventh parliament, he urged that the House structures its affairs to recognize long serving members who had served from the back bench to the top.

Again, nomination of deputy ministers does not reflect on the experience of the members in the House, adding all the governments have the president picking a deputy minister among first time MP who is not known and tried in the system.

“The various political parties need to do some serious introspection. In America a senator can serve for thirty eight years but that person is never given a derogative name like Mugabe. We would be laboring in vain if the issues of staying in the House of long does not reflect in discussion in our constitution’s chapter 10 of the 1992 constitution does not talk about function of Parliament and an MP”.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/