Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) of North Tongu Constituency has called for the abolishing of the MP’s Common Fund, a component of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) allocated to MPs.He said electorates acknowledged the role of MPs as agents of development, however, the MPs Fund was woefully inadequate to undertake any significant project, yet the perception has always been that such funds could be used to address infrastructural challenges.
He said as a country it was time to have a discussion on whether MPs should be development agents or focus on their legislative duties, but most importantly there is a need to overhaul the entire constitution architecture and opt for strict separation of powers.
Mr Ablakwa made these remarks during a round-table on how voters select their legislators.
The round-table was organised by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD - Ghana) on the theme: “How do voters select legislators? A choice experiment in Ghana.”
Initial results from a conjoint survey experiment conducted by Dr George Kwaku Ofosu, an Associate of CDD-Ghana, on how efforts by politicians to provide constituency services affect citizens’ vote choice and whether such effects vary by different types of voters (by gender and partisanship) and by the level of electoral competition in Ghana, was presented to set the pace for the discussions.
In a recent survey by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, most potential voters expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of their MPs.
In response, the MPs believed that citizens do not have an appreciation of the work they do behind the scenes and are unable to rate them fairly.
Mr Ablakwa said there is a need for economic transformation and was of the view that a low level of economic opportunities was driving constituents to make certain demands.