Parliament must ensure transparent accountable governance – speaker

Prof. addressing the ParliamentariansThe Speaker of Parliament, Professor Michael Oquaye, has stated that the commitment to ensure transparent and accountable governance in the country must start from within Parliament.

He, therefore, appealed to Members of Parliament to endeavour to conduct themselves appropriately and demonstrate their commitment by always being present in the chamber and at Committee sittings.

“My appeal is that members should at all times give their maximum best to help mother Ghana; however, in case of difficulties regarding ill-health or any exigency, they should seek proper authorisation and should also as evidence, show proper medical certification,” Prof. Oquaye stated.

Prof. Oquaye made these statements at the opening of an orientation and induction seminar organised for both new and old MPs in Koforidua last Saturday.

The seminar, under the theme: “Deepening Transparent and Accountable Governance: Strengthening Parliament for National Development” was purposed to enable parliamentarians, especially the newly-elected to acquaint themselves with the procedures and proceedings of the House to enable them to find their bearing within the precinct of Parliament.

For old members, it was meant to enable them deepen their knowledge in the legislative business, share experiences with their colleagues where necessary and take stock of their activities in order to improve on their performance.

Prof. Oquaye said since he assumed office as Speaker of Parliament, some members of Parliament had absented themselves from the Chamber without proper authority and such acts were in violation of the rules of the House.

He reminded the MPs that, as representatives of the people, they should conduct themselves well in all relevant spheres, take their work seriously, solve problems and use their position to the benefit of Ghanaians.

That, he said, would enable them to gain the confidence and respect of the citizenry who elected them into office.

He, however, cautioned the parliamentarians to be mindful of their language and also dress appropriately during parliamentary sittings.

“If you know that the language cannot be used at any chief’s palace, please do not use it in the House and the dress code should be formal either African, oriental or western,” he added.

He pledged to be unbais as Speaker of the House and collaborate with parliamentarians to ensure fairness in proceedings of Parliament.

For his part, the Majority Leader, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu urged members to be open mindeded to enable them to learn what was required of them as MPs as well as learn the procedures of the House.

“As MPs, you must apply yourselves critically to issues discussed in order to enable you to acquaint yourselves with the techniques, mannerisms and procedures of the House,” he stated.

The Minority leader, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, challenged colleague parliamentarians to exude self-respect and self-confidence in the discharge of their functions in Parliament, saying that such “confidence is the beginning of success for any MP to function effectively.”

From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu-Nyarko, Koforidua

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