Lecturer bemoans MPs’ focus on party interest

 A senior lecturer at the Political Science Depart­ment at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo, has bemoaned the focus of Members of Parliament (MPs) on their respective parties ahead of the interest of constituents.

“The Legislative arm of government is supposed to use its power to counter the powers of the Executive arm of gov­ernment when necessary and the parliamentarians under the Fourth Republic have failed abysmally,” he lamented.

According to him, another challenge facing the country as regarded its democracy was the nomination of MPs as minis­ters and the lawmakers who got appointed by their party in power, relented in subjecting activities of the government to rigorous scrutiny.

“The practice where we appoint Members of Parliament as ministers has not really helped since once you are appointed as minister, it becomes difficult for the minister to go to Parliament to oppose and subject whatever is emanating from the Executive arm of the government to rigorous scrutiny.

“There are also Members of Parliament whose party is in government and who are not ap­pointed as ministers, they also see the more they shout yeah yeah, the more they improve their chances of being appointed ministers in the event of a reshuffle,” Prof. Gyampo explained.

Commenting on commemora­tion of 30 years of parliamentary democracy which was on the theme: ’30 years of Parliamenta­ry Democracy under the Fourth Republic-The Journey Thus Ear’, he expressed disappointment over MPs’ attitude in the Fourth Re­public for putting the interest of their respective parties ahead of the interest of their constituents.

Touching on Parliament’s role of exercising oversight respon­sibility on the public purse, Prof. Gyampo pointed out that although, the current Minority Caucus had made some strides in preventing the government from including some unnecessary items in the budget, they had approved virtually every other budget that had been presented to them.

He contended that MPs had not lived up to expectations of the people however, it was their duty to represent and satisfy the interests of constituents, national, and partisan interests which appeared that from 1992 till date, MPs had sought to satisfy the interests of political parties they were affiliated and neglected to protect and satisfy the national and constituents’ interests.

“It appears political parties outside Parliament or the parties to which they belong wield lot of influence, and want to control individual parliamentar­ians more than the constituents should do, and that is how come oftentimes, when there is going to be parliamentary elections, MPs who have not done so well in protecting the interest of their constituents will go there beg­ging,” Prof. Gyampo stressed

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