A call by some prominent Legislators for long-serving parliamentarians to be retained without a public vote has been dismissed by a political analyst.
Dr Osei Bonsu said the calls are not consistent with the tenets of democracy and if implemented may rob Ghana’s Parliament of new and innovative ideas.
“We are in a democracy. Democracy means that the people should have choices. There shouldn’t be any de facto system of democracy, whereby people will be forced to do what they don’t want to do,” Dr Bonsu told GhanaWeb in an interview on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
The comments by the former Political Science lecturer at the Methodist University follow a reitration of for old serving MPs to be retained recently.
Member of Parliament for Old Tafo, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, recently reignited the call for the retention of long-serving Members of Parliament during a televised programme.
The call was first made by Majority Leader, and MP for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who said since experience is the backbone of the work in Parliament, there is the need to support sitting MPs to win their primaries and come back to the House to help with its work.
MP for Banda, in the Brong Ahafo Region, Ahmed Ibrahim, subsequently justified the call on grounds that it is important to retain experienced MPs to guide the new ones.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who made the call during a programme by Citi News, will not be returning to Parliament because he failed to contest in the New Patriotic Party’s parliamentary primaries held in June 2020.
Reacting to the arguments on the need to retain experienced MPs, Dr Bonsu told GhanaWeb that long service does not necessarily guarantee experience.
“We should also understand that long service goes with experience. Experience means that somebody who can learn fast and will be able to correct their [past] mistakes.
“Let’s then, based on this understand, go back to Parliament and see if leadership is based on long service. We have some people who have been there from the beginning of this Fourth Republic but they’ve not been given any position in Parliament simply because they don’t have any experience,” the political analyst said.
He said there are people – for instance aspiring MPs – outside Parliament who are more knowledgeable than some people currently in Parliament.
According to him, until others are given the opportunity to serve in the House, they will not be able to contribute to Parliament with their knowledge.
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