Haruna mocks Majority Leader over primaries
The Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has called on the Majority Leader to protect more Members of Parliament in future party primaries. To him, the Majority Leader’s protectionist policy should have been extended to cover a lot more MPs, instead of himself and a few others.
To him, a lot more bigwigs would have been saved if the policy had been extended to cover them.
“So, Leader, but for your protectionist policy, many more could have been victims of it. As undemocratic as it was, it has saved some, but next time, extend the protection to many others and not limit it to just yourself and a few others, which is not good. If you had protected the likes of Mark Assibey, he would have been here with us by now,” he said.
Mr Iddrisu was commenting on the just-ended New Patriotic Party parliamentary primaries that saw a lot of what people described as ‘experienced parliamentarians’ losing their seats.
It would be recalled that after Saturday’s primaries, the likes of Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Mr Ben Abdallah, Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee, and a host of others all lost their seats.
However, MPs such as Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, MP for Ofoase Ayirebi and Minister of Information, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Member for Manhyia South, were all protected and went unopposed. The Minority Leader, therefore, called on Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, Majority Leader, to extend his protectionist policy to a lot more MPs in future primaries.
Commenting on the primaries in general, Iddrisu congratulated the Majority Leader and others who won in their various constituencies. To those who lost, Mr Iddrisu wished them better luck next time.
He, however, raised a concern about what led to the losing of some of the big shots in the house. He asked if it was the fact that they were unpopular, the government unpopular, or money was popular?
For many of the very experienced parliamentarians to be swept away by the power of politics is a great concern, Mr Iddrisu observed.
He intimated that Parliament needs to protect the sanctity and integrity of the House, and made a call to both political parties to take a critical look at the issue.
He said a national conversation needs to be made on the politics of monetisation in Ghana’s politics.
He said he couldn’t imagine a Parliament without Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, Mr Yieleh Chireh, Inusa Fuseini, and some few experienced guys who have been kicked out.
He said Parliamentary caucuses should strengthen their base so that in future they can make recommendations as to who can make it and who deserves protection, to keep Ghana’s democracy alive.
He called on those who lost to accept it in good faith, because, may be those termed as inexperienced may just prove the House wrong.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, also congratulated those who won and wished those who lost a better luck. He said people should realise that in competitions there will always be winner and a loser.
“In fact, one thing we should all realise is that sometimes you lose, sometimes you win. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Once you win a fight, one day or the other, prepare to lose one, and that is the name of the game.
“In fact, if nobody lost, nobody would have been here. And for our followers, let us learn to cool them down and let them know that we understand the enterprise of politics, and that in itself is good for the political hemisphere.”
He also indicated that being out of Parliament does not mean one will not serve. He said one can leave Parliament and serve in the government, which some have done more strongly in the past.
He, therefore, appealed to the House to attend to its business with seriousness, so that if one’s government comes to power, an individual MP who is recognised as having performed well can get an appointment.
“Let’s attend to the business of the House with all seriousness, so that when fortune smiles on the people on my right (Majority), some of you can still continue to play an important role, and if fortune also smiles on the people on my left (Minority), you will also be able to play a meaningful role in the next government. I wish you all well, and let us play according to the rules of the game.”
The Majority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who also contributed to the discussion, said the attrition rate is not healthy for Parliament because it will impact on the work of the House, hence, a discussion on the whole process should commence.
The Majority Leader indicated that he was not saying there shouldn’t be a contest, and that once elected to Parliament, one remains static.
He intimated that the process should rather be structured, and said Parliament, as well as the constituencies, should be given the opportunity to access the performance of their members and make recommendations to the parties.
He said this will help correct MPs, shape them, and develop them into finished products.
He appealed to those who lost to join forces with those who succeeded them to team up and work for the party.