The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has urged Members of Parliament (MPs) who desire to stay longer in Parliament to serve the interests of their constituents.
“Well, it is expedient to work with MPs who have had the opportunity of staying much longer and have had more experience. That should be an ideal position, but you can only achieve that through the hard work of the MPs themselves and how they justify their continuous stay,” he stated.

In an interview with the Daily Graphic on a wide range of issues, Mr Nketiah said he would not for “any reason subscribe to an idea that once you are in Parliament we must maintain you there for two, three or whatever number of terms. That will be an abuse of democracy completely”.

Representation

The general secretary explained that the position of an MP was that of a representation or a delegated position.

“He said the constituents must always have the opportunity of receiving the results of the delegate and decide whether they will continue to delegate that same person. Any other thing will mean the abuse of this representative democracy”.

Mr. Nketiah said maintaining an MP to represent the people whether the constituents wanted him or not would mean the country was departing from the principle of representation.

“So even though personally we think that our work is easier when you have MPs spending more than one term because the longer they remain, the more experience they gain; as well as the fact that it saves the nation some time and resources because when new people come, they will require new training and other things and there is everything to say about stored knowledge and so on, these considerations cannot overweigh the principle of representation, so you cannot abuse that,” he noted.

Background

The Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has in recent times bemoaned the large number of MPs who were unseated in parliamentary primaries, including first-time legislators.

According to him, it often distracted the focus of MPs and negatively affected their attendance in Parliament, which turned out to impact the transaction of government business.

At the NPP’s national delegates conference in Kumasi last year, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu asked the NPP to own the process of selecting candidates to avoid any derailment in the forward march of the party.

“In this regard, I want to propose to the party that the constituencies should be encouraged to the largest extent possible to adopt the incumbent MPs for the purpose of the next general election as any free-for-all election that is not guided or guarded will take over our great party,” he said.

Vetting

While appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for his vetting, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu also asked political parties to institute some interventions to ensure that experienced MPs were retained in the House.

Credit: Daily Graphic


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