Protect seasoned MPs from new entrants - Mensah Bonsu to parties
Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu is calling on political parties to protect sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) from losing their seats to new entrants.
He was displeased that over one hundred of the legislators in the seventh parliament are newly elected, a development he said will affect the output of the House.
Speaking at a symposium to mark 25 years of parliamentary democracy in Ghana in Accra Monday, he described the high attrition rate in the house as a shameful blot on the country’s political system.
“There are challenges that we must admit to; workspace, lack of space, lack of quality and timely data, political equalisation as well as the perceived corruption of political class including MPs,” he said.
He mentioned also that life is not easy for legislators with constituents making all sorts of demands on them.
This year marks 25 years of uninterrupted parliamentary democracy since the return of constitutional rule after repeated military coups.
Being one of the two longest-serving MPs, Mr Mensah Bonsu said the rate at which experienced and seasoned lawmakers are defeated at their parties primaries has to be addressed.
“I must add that a parliament is as strong as its members make it," he said, stressing "the quality of materials in parliament should be the concern of us all Ghanaians”.
Mr Mensah Bonsu also appealed to political parties to do something about the high attrition rates as it is not helping to grow parliament.
He said the usual reference of him and Alban Bagbin as quality products of parliament was not by mere coincidence.
According to him, there are prospects that the political parties must consider grooming.
However, the Executive Director of the Center for Democratic Development (CDD), H. Kwesi Prempeh is suggesting the number of MPs should be reduced.
He said although democracy is an expensive enterprise, a high number of MPs only weighs the country down when the resources can be used for other things.
He gave an example of a recall of parliament and how much it costs the country when that money could be invested in building schools and hospitals.