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General News of Friday, 28 July 2017


Ghana’s Parliament toothless – Political Scientist

Parliament of Ghana Parliament of Ghana

A political scientist Dr. Abass Mohammed has described as repulsive the continuous politicisation of critical matters bothering the country in Parliament.

This, according to him, has rendered the law making chamber “very weak and toothless.”

He further noted “I don’t see how our Parliament is going to work effectively when it comes to oversight that must run across…representation, lawmaking and financial function.”

Dr. Mohammed’s comments were in reaction to the partisanship exhibited in Parliament Wednesday, July 26, 2017, when the beleaguered commissioners of the Electoral Commission appeared before the leadership of the House over accreditation fees charged journalists prior to the 2016 elections.

The floor of Parliament Wednesday was chaotic after the Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu said the much-anticipated meeting between the leadership of Parliament and the EC commissioners was unnecessary.

The meeting was expected to commence immediately after the EC boss finished briefing the House about how much the commission made from the controversial fees it charged journalists for accreditation ahead of the 2016 general elections.

But referring to Order 93 of the House’s standing orders, Mr Iddrisu described the meeting as needless since president Akufo-Addo had forwarded the petition demanding the head of the boss of the Commission Charlotte Osei to the Chief Justice.

“The meeting with leadership is mute legally… therefore we have no business engaging her further until the matter is so judicially determined,” he stressed.

But reacting to the development, Dr. Mohammed said “We are practicing politics with a high level of ignorance. We are pretending we have the knowledge meanwhile we do not.”

MPs, he said, are supposed to be Statesmen representing “thinking and reasoning” and that they should rise beyond partisanship, explaining that politics has nothing to do with the division but rather unity.

It will be recalled that the Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, bemoaned extreme partisanship in Parliament on July 12, 2017, edition of Starr Chat, warning the country risks having a democracy that will be useless.

According to him, for the country’s law-making chamber to meet the international standard it is incumbent on legislators from both sides of the House to be nationalistic in their attitude.

He told Starr Chat host Bola Ray then that “we have a huge responsibility as a country to be able to grow our democracy beyond elections. If we don’t get those two things fixed our democracy will just be reduced to mere elections.

“If we don’t [change the current situation] we risk having a democracy that will be useless. Because believe me, all the issues that we are talking about that our institutions are weak, there is corruption, there is this, there is that – it is because parliament is weak.”

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