The 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu has urged Members of Parliament to be firm in the discharge of their duty and not be intimidated by pressures from the public.
He said MPs must not circumvent the law to appease the public.
He made the statement at a workshop organized for leadership of parliament and selected parliamentary committees on Enhancing Parliamentary Oversight through Public Procurement in Koforidua.
He said Members of Parliament must notice that the public today has become more interested and resourced to assess and judge the actions of MPs.
“We must all recognize that this country has changed and it is going to continue to change. Particularly for those of us in the public sector. The days that we shared information we wanted the public to know is over. People will find the information wherever it is, they will give the interpretation they want and now a lot more people are vocal and vociferous. They are not intimidated any more. They will go and bring comparison from elsewhere around the round to compare with what you are doing,” he said.
The Bekwai legislator, citing the many calls that were made to him to take action against two Members of Parliament who were arrested last week for breaking road traffic laws as part of Citi FM’s War Against Indiscipline (WAI) Campaign, Joseph Osei Owusu said the public often discuss some matters in a way aimed at intimidating MPs and causing them to act in a certain manner that is against the law but MPs must not succumb to such pressures.
“I observed last week, two MPs apparently arrested for breaching the road traffic rules. The kind of response that came to me as if I was the one who was arrested for breaching the road traffic regulations, you are leaders of the parliament what are you doing to that man. I kept asking myself, do I have any power to do anything to that person? and if I had the power, how would I have done it in such away as to appease the public,” he said.
“That is another challenge we must observe. The danger to want to appease the public rather than respect the law because many at times the discussion is done in a manner that intimidates politicians and therefore we are quick to want to appease the public and circumvent the law,” he added.