Ghana’s parliamentary democracy needs complete overhaul – Expert

Politics of Saturday, 5 August 2017

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2017-08-05

Dr. Eric Oduro-Osae

The Dean of Graduate Studies at the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr. Eric Oduro-Osae is suggesting outright changes to the system where parliamentarians place the interests of political parties ahead of the needs of their constituents.

“The constituents must influence their decisions, not the political parties,” Dr. Oduro-Osae insisted while commenting on News File on Joy FM Saturday, on Tuesdays’ walk out staged by the minority members over a motion filed by a member of the majority, seeking reversal of the AMERI deal.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentarians abandoned their seats in protest over the decision by Speaker, Prof. Mike Aaron Oquaye, not to allow a debate over the motion filed by MP for Adansi Asokwa, Kwabena Tahir Hammond.

But in the opinion of Dr. Oduro-Osae: “This thing should not have come into public domain.”

He said the development was a clear manifestation that the MPs were “looking at the political aspect of the AMERI deal instead of the substance”.

“It really should not have warranted the mere verbal attacks that emerged from the process.

“In our whole parliamentary democracy we need a complete overhaul,” the Governance Expert maintained, as he proposed Parliament consider instituting a system that offers the minority the opportunity to communicate their concerns without necessarily staging a walkout.

According to him: “the Parliamentarians seem to be representing their political the parties than the people they are representing …The constituents must influence their decisions, not the political parties”.

Meanwhile, Law lecturer, Yaw Oppong however, faulted both parties with their approach to the issue.

While supporting the position of the minority that it is unusual to seek reversal of the decision by the previous parliament, it was equally wrong for the minority to launch verbal attacks on the Speaker over his decision not to allow a debate on the motion.

He said the Speaker ought to be respected because he has the responsibility “to determine which motion is brought before parliament”.

He recommended the establishment of a legal unit for Parliament to determine the status of motions before they are sent to the floor of the House.

“We need to even know whether what Mr. K.T attempted to do was for termination of the contract or was it for fraud.

“If it is about termination then the executive can terminate it but if it is about fraud then it is the courts that can determine that,” he advised.

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