50% risk losing seats claim, wake-up call for MPs–Sammy Obeng

Sammy Obeng, the Executive Director of the Parliamentary Network, Africa, has observed that the recent research, conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, should be a wake-up call for parliamentarians and the citizenry.

He explained that the report was a major cause for alarm and that Members of Parliament (MPs) and the citizenry should be extremely worried because predicting that about 180 MPs risk losing their seats in the upcoming election, is a worrying trend.

“We should be worried. MPs should start revising their notes on how to create a chamber constituency balance in the work they do, so that no aspect of it suffers going forward. MPs are penalised for not going to their constituencies but there are structures put in place in parliament that MPs need to take advantage of to make themselves visible to constituents.

In this era of technology, they need to make their constituents realise what they are doing as MPs,” Mr Obeng noted.

The report revealed that 49.5 per cent of the citizenry surveyed said they will not vote for their incumbent Member of Parliament, citing poor performance and lack of representation.

The research titled ‘A mid-term study on MPs: Emerging issues’, also revealed that the supposed poor performance on the part of MPs was responsible for voter apathy among the electorate.

Majority of the respondents, representing 46.7 per cent, also do not want their incumbent MPs to contest in the 2020 general election, 42.4 per cent, according to the research, want their MPs to contest, while 10.9 per cent are indecisive on whether their MPs should contest or not.

The respondents were also asked to rate the performance of parliamentarians, and the result showed less than half of respondents, representing 45.7 per cent, were satisfied and 52.3 per cent were not satisfied with performance of parliamentarians.

Researchers called on parliamentarians to be circumspect with the kinds of promises they make during campaigns, adding that their continuous absence from their constituency could affect their re-election bids.

The researchers disclosed that a total of 27,500 Ghanaians, in selected areas within the 275 constituencies, participated in the study.

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