A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo has graded Ghana’s Parliament a dismal three out of 10 points.
On Wednesday, February 22, the House celebrated 30 years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy experienced by the country.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Kingsford Bagbin launched a year-long celebration of 30 years of Ghana’s parliamentary democracy under the Fourth Republic on the theme: “Thirty years of Parliamentary democracy under the Fourth Republic: The journey thus far.”
But the Political Science lecturer says that the Parliament has not lived up to expectation.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, he told the host, Samson Lardy Anyenini, “Over the week, I gave an assessment of Parliament and I felt that if you asked me to score them, I will give them 3 over 10 and some people came for remarking, so I increased it to three and a half over 10.”
He indicated that his assessment is based on the four roles of Parliament, which he listed as: representation, legislation, oversight responsibilities, and being in control of the public purse.
Addressing the role of representation, Prof Gyampo explained that it is the duty of parliamentarians to represent and satisfy the interests of constituents, national, and partisan interests.
However, he pointed out that it appears that from 1992 till date, Members of Parliament have sought to satisfy the interests of the political party they are affiliated to and, in effect, neglected to protect and satisfy the national and constituents’ interests.
He said, “If you are asking me to rate them in terms of their representation function, then they have not performed so well.”
“It appears the political parties outside Parliament or the parties to which they belong wield a lot of influence, and want to control these individual parliamentarians more than the constituents should do, and that’s how come oftentimes, when there’s going to be parliamentary elections, MPs who have not done so well in protecting the interest of their constituents will go there begging …,” Prof Gyampo stressed.
The professor assessed the remaining roles of Parliament and stated that parliamentarians have performed abysmally in those areas as well.
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