By Frederick E. Aggrey
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonso, Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, has indicated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is coming out with guidelines for the retention of its members of Parliament (MPs) in subsequent elections.
He revealed that the guidelines would scrutinise MPs by assessing their performance in terms of attendance and participation in the businesses of the House.
Consequently, only active members of the House would be retained to represent the party in elections.
The Majority Leader added:”We are losing focus and diverting attention from what should be the statutory responsibilities of Parliament and all parliamentarians, and that is why many times we don’t see many of these members in Parliament.”
He further added:”Your performance in Parliament will hold you up, as to whether you must be retained or not. I’m pleased to announce today that my core party has also indicated that attendance to businesses of Parliament will be a primary indicator as to whether or not a Member of Parliament should be retained.
He added that the Majority Leadership has taken steps to actualise these guidelines by positioning their whips to take note of members’ attendance and performance, and report same.
To this end, we have positioned our whips to take notes of when any member from the majority side enters, when he leaves the chamber, and how long the person stays,” he added.
He further that the leaders of the House are also submitting monthly reports on members of Parliament to both the party and the leader of the party, to assess the performances of members of the majority.
He cautioned that members from the Majority side who do not attend parliamentary sittings, as well as those who come to the House and do not participate in any of the business of the house, will be sidelined by the party and prevented from representing the party in any election
He disclosed this at the ‘5th edition of the Crystal Ball Series’, which was held under the theme “Opening up Parliament for Effective Governance”, by Parliamentary News Africa (PNA) in conjunction with the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD).
The Crystal Ball Series is a leading civil society parliamentary assessment event under the auspices of Parliamentary News Africa and CDD, and as an annual event that brings together members of Parliament, especially leadership and the media, to dialogue on issues concerning the affairs and business of the House.
He further urged the political parties to assist in strengthening the legislative structure, by adopting a system of selecting and retaining members ofParliament, in order to ensure that their core mandate is efficiently discharged.
He added that lots of individuals enter the House with different levels of expectations, only to feel disappointed after realising that it is not a rosy and money-making place.
He bemoaned the increasing monetisation of Ghana’s body politics, and observed that as a result of this, the members abandon their core duties for private jobs, in order to make enough money to meet the high demands of elections.