General News of Tuesday, 24 January 2017
A total of 19 legislators never spoke on the floor of the sixth parliament throughout their four years in office, a report by Odekro, a transparency organisation with focus on proceedings in Ghana’s parliament, has revealed.
The STAR-Ghana funded project indicated that the 19 MPs comprised 16 MPs of the National Democratic Congress (who were then the Majority) and three from the New Patriotic Party.
Included in the list of ‘silent MPs’ is the former MP for La-Dadekotopon Nii Amasa Namoale.
The report also ranked current Deputy Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo, as one of the worst performing legislators in the sixth parliament.
Also ranked low is Assin Central MP Ken Agyapong, former Deputy Central Regional Minister and Agona East lawmaker Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr and former MP for Klottey Korle Nii Armah Ashitey.
However, the bottom spot for the worst performers in the sixth parliament of the Fourth Republic is occupied by Evans Paul Aidoo, who scored 11.50%.
Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr scored 16.98%; Dr Nii Oakley Quaye-Kumah had 17.09%; Ken Ohene Agyapong managed 18.29% while Dr Mustapha Ahmed had 18.60%.
MP for Old Tafo, Anthony Akoto Osei, was crowned the best performing MP for scoring 94.12%.
James Klutse Avedzi ranked second with a score of 93.39%; Joseph Yieleh Chireh placed third with a score of 92.21%; Papa Owusu-Ankomah, who amassed 92.17%, placed fourth; and Alexander Afenyo-Markin, with 91.03%, came fifth.
73 MPs were absent without permission, a clear violation of article 97(1)(c) of the constitution. 28 MPs never absented themselves without permission.
According to Odekro, it “verified the completeness of our dataset by comparing our cache of data to a list of parliament’s sitting days obtained from staff of the parliamentary service. On each sitting day, three documents are produced namely the Hansard, Order Paper, and Votes and Proceedings. Consequently, for each date on parliament’s calendar, we have access to three primary documents.”
The report also said that Odekro “verified the accuracy of this dataset by confirming that each document bore the official seal of parliament, followed the pattern of parliament’s formatting, and was marked as having been produced by the Table Office or the Hansard Office respectively. Odekro’s Content Manager and Research Assistant both verified each documentary source of our data,” Odekro said in a statement.
“We, therefore, assigned a weight of 40% of total score to attendance and 60% to the contribution score.
“Our rationale is simple. An MP’s presence in parliament is practically of no effect if he or she does not contribute to deliberations in the house. MPs who are both present and contribute should, therefore, normally be ranked better than MPs who make regular appearances in parliament but do not contribute to the work of the house.”
Read the full report here