General News of Monday, 9 October 2017
The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has debunked perception among legislators that his Ministry was recreated by the President to emasculate the work of Parliament.
Instead, he noted that his Ministry was created to rather serve as an interface between the executive and legislature.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of Parliament to introduce his Ministry and the purpose for its creation, Mr Osei kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said although matters of policy between the Majority and Minority may differ, it is his hope that the Ministry will seize the opportunity to build consensus for the good of Ghana in order to enhance democratic governance.
According to him, his Ministry will serve as a platform for the sharing of ideas between the Majority and Minority. He noted that citizens must be accommodating of their differences and the Ministry is ready to position itself in taking up that responsibility, of being the bridge builder.
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Majority leader, noted that his Ministry will resolve the acrimony between lawmakers and Metropolitan Municipal and District Chief Executive’s (MMDCE’s) and that his Ministry is ready to position itself in collaboration with the Ministry responsible for Local Government to address challenges to bring a harmonious working relationship between the MP’s and the MMDCE’s, which will result in serenity in the governance process as a nation.
The Majority leader sighted instances where citizens had presented their complaints to Parliament for redress yet, leadership faced challenges in addressing their concerns. “The re-creation of the Ministry [of Parliamentary Affairs] will become the vehicle to address those complaints from the citizenry,” he said, adding that: “Ghana will learn from the Indian experience where the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is the lead agency in the capacity building of Members of Parliament.”
Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu further noted that his Ministry will become the clearing house to dialogue with both sides of the political divide when there is deadlock in Parliament and that, the Ministry was not meant to gag any Member of Parliament.
He concluded that it is his desire to leave a legacy of consensus building in Ghana’s democratic governance, and assured leaders that he and staff of the Ministry will ensure that.
In his response, the Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said it is their responsibility as leadership of Parliament to reduce the excessive partisanship in the house and added that, even though they have policy differences, the country must come first.
He indicated that he and his team would support Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu to use his Ministry to achieve that for the benefit of the country.