Some Members of Parliament (MPs) have called for the scrapping of parliamentary debate organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) ahead of elections.
However, the legislators support the idea of presidential debate but insist parliamentary debate disadvantages sitting MPs and misinform the electorate.
According to James Avedzi, the Deputy Minority Leader, “if you are having a debate and you have four parliamentary candidates including the sitting MP, first of all, the three are against one or all of them will be accusing the MP of not doing what is not his job because they are looking for votes.
“If you vote for me, I will do it, the sitting MP who knows that is not his job will be speaking the truth and the people who want to hear those sensational and sweet promises will be praising those people who’ll say I will do it.
“It is to the disadvantage of sitting Members of Parliament, we think that parliamentary debate is actually not in the interest of sitting MPs,” Mr Avedzi stressed.
Sharing a similar view, Kofi Agyekum, the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Public Account Committee, noted that especially the challenger will say when I come I’ll do this road, when I come I’ll build this hospital, and you have been an incumbent, you know it is not within your power to do that, I think the debate is not necessary, it doesn’t educate the public, sometimes it misinforms electorate. “
However, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of NCCE disagreed and posited that we also have Members of Parliament who have used the same platform to be re-elected time and again and it is one of the most important platforms that they have used.
” I think it is more about having a discerning citizenry, that is the crucial matter, even if an MP by false pretences come to the seat of the legislature, after four years he or she will be exposed because the very things he/she said will do, he/she may be unable to perform those things,” she noted.