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General News of Sunday, 16 June 2019

Source: citinewsroom.com

Casely-Hayford advocates creation of regional parliaments

Social Commentator, Sydney Casely-Hayford is proposing the creation of regional parliaments as a way of curtailing what many have termed as the neglect constituents face from their parliamentarians after election periods.

He argues that the country can no longer depend on the existing single parliament considering the increase in population, resources and the need to have power devolved to the local people.

His comments come on the back of recent research published by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana that claimed that some 50 percent of Members of Parliament (MPs) risk losing their seats due to poor performance and a lack of representation, a report the Speaker of the house has described as unfair.

Speaking on The Big Issue on Saturday, Casely-Hayford maintained that the only way to address the challenge is the creation of regional parliaments to give legislators the opportunity close to their constituencies.

“We need to establish a regional parliament. This country is now big enough. In the olden days, when we didn’t have many people you could have one single parliament looking after only Accra, the protectorates and Ashanti. Those days are over. We are now a far bigger country with bigger resources and far more people to manage. So within these regions, you have districts and municipalities congregated together to form a region. When you do that, the parliamentarians who serve these regions are more in tune and more aware of what is happening in their regions.”

He added that since MPs are not responsible for the development of their areas, Districts and Municipal Chief Executives (MCEs) could be assembled as the regional parliaments to ensure that the various regions see the economic growth they so desire.

“Parliamentarians are not supposed to be developmental agents. That is not their job but that of the DCEs or MCEs and they should be seen to be doing their job. So when you have an aggregation of the DCEs coming to form parliament are more aware of what the district and region need."

"If we do it that way, we will have 16 regional parliaments and of each of these parliaments has its own elected agency and they are going to be able to harness and collect their own incomes allocate it according to the needs within the districts.”