General News of Sunday, 3 February 2013
The chairman of the National Peace Council, Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante wants parliamentarians to move away from uncompromising party position when taking decisions that affect the country.
According to him, the stage is set for a parliament which will survive mainly through consensus-building in committee work “rather than entrenched positions defined and informed by uncompromising party affiliation”.
Rev. Asante was addressing an induction and orientation programme for members of the sixth Parliament at the Ghana Institute of Public Administration, Saturday.
He prayed for “a situation where discussions at the committee levels [of parliament] will be free and frank and will be permeated by a spirit of reasonable compromise and resolution...”
To assure harmony in diversity and partnership in the house, Rev Asante argued, parliament must constantly evaluate its own internal procedures, rules and mode of work to ensure that they facilitate inclusiveness; bearing in mind the importance of the nation’s multiparty democratic dispensation.
The Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho, on his part, stated that Ghana continues to grapple with the challenges of political intolerance.
He therefore called on the MPs to take lead roles in reducing political tensions in the country.
“It is...essential for us as lawmakers to roll-up our sleeves and address ourselves to the consequences brought about by this phenomenon,” he highlighted.
“The consequence of political intolerance has the potential to undermine the capacity of government to govern, parliament to legislate and the judiciary to adjudicate, “the speaker continued.
Such an environment, he added, will not create the enabling atmosphere for civil society and the entire citizenry to “freely express their views and opinions which are important features [of] any democratic state”.
Mr Doe Adjaho urged the MPs to “take non-partisan and sober reflection on our role as (parliamentarians) in defining the legislative process.”
The orientation programme will afford new members of parliament the opportunity to learn about practices in the house.