Protect first-time MPs and leaders – Dan Botwe

Minority Chief Whip, Dan Kweku Botwe, wants the New Patriotic Party to institute regulations that will protect first-time Members of Parliament and leaders of the Minority in the House.

He says these categories of MPs serving on the party’s ticket must be protected from losing their seats through internal contests.

Mr Botwe argues, among others, that this is necessary to maintain effective representation in parliament.

The NPP will go to the polls on Saturday June 13, 2015 to select parliamentary aspirants for the 2016 general elections.

But incumbent MPs are facing stiff competition from entrants trying to snatch their seats from them.

Mr Botwe is not the only NPP member calling for the party’s leaders in parliament to be protected.

Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, who is also MP for Suame last month made a call on the party’s leadership to put in place measures that will prevent any party member from challenging him and other in the primaries.

He said the practice where the party allows its leader in Parliament to be challenged at its primaries does not help in the accumulation of knowledge and experience on the workings of parliament.

Mr Botwe who is also the party’s former General Secretary and now MP for the Okere Constituency, says a bold decision has to be taken on the issue.

He said it can be decided that unless the leadership of parliament and the party has serious issues with an incumbent MP, he should not be contested in the first term.

“A party should be able to make rules… this is our party, these are our rules, if you think that you don’t like our rules you can go independent or form another political party.

“But we should be bold enough to discuss some of these things”, he added.

He believes that a lot of investment is made on MPs and there is the need to “make amendment to the rules in order to achieve value for money”.

Mr Botwe said the Minority Leader “is one of the best brains in parliament. We need him here.”

“Are we saying that a person should go off because there should by all means be elections. No. It is wrong and unfortunate that this is happening but it is happening because we have not addressed our minds to it”.

The party’s former Chairman, Peter Mac Manu, in agreement with Mr Botwe, said he believes that the manner in which the party handles its primaries was problematic.

“I think that generally the way we handle our primaries where we have a blanket rules and regulations needs to be looked at”.

He said different sets of rules should exist for party leaders in parliament and those who aspire to be MPs. The same thing should be done for the various regions.

In order for the party members to understand the value of its representation in parliament, Mr Mac Manu has suggested that the party to go to the grassroots and explain to the electorates the good things that are being done by the leaders.

He said it was important for steps to be taken concerning the issue.

Story by Ghana | | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | [email protected]

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