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General News of Thursday, 20 June 2019


MPs still fume over UG survey predicting doom for their reelection

Parliament of Ghana Parliament of Ghana

Leadership of Ghana’s Parliament continues to seethe over a University of Ghana survey predicting that over 180 lawmakers will lose their seat in the 2020 parliamentary elections.

The survey by some lecturers at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana on performance of MPs in their constituencies seemed to have ruffled feathers in many ways than envisaged days after the Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye slammed the researchers and accused them of inciting electorates against the MPs.

The outcome of the survey published on Monday June 10 stated over 186 MPs are likely to lose their seats. It 42.6% of the respondents ready to retain their lawmakers with 7.9% of the respondents still undecided.

Also, a majority of the respondents representing 46.7% do not want their incumbent MPs to contest in 2020 general elections while 42.4% want their MPs to contest with 10.9% still undecided on whether their MPs should contest or not.

Prof. Oquaye after accusing the researchers of inciting electorates against the lawmakers consequently directed leadership of the house to meet up with the researchers. But even before that could happen majority and minority leaders on Thursday engaged the media to pointing out what they believe are flaws in the survey.

“It service that we render,” said Majority leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, calling on the political parties to change their current methodology for getting people into parliament.

“We should do self-assessment, self-interrogation to see whether or not the methodology of getting people to be in parliament is the best that we are doing for ourselves as a country,” Mensah-Bonsu called for.

“What we are doing here doesn’t exist anywhere in the established democracies, where at the end of every four years the gates are opened to all comers, oh!, it is time let’s go to parliament. It doesn’t happen anywhere. It doesn’t exist in the entrenched democracies.”

According to him, the caucus are allowed in entrenched democracies to assess the performance of the members and those of them who are not measuring up, the caucus leadership then will transmit report to the political parties requesting those members be replaced.

“That’s why we have established members of parliament out there who know their bearings and perform to the satisfaction of the institutions and the country. But here, [after] spending so much in building capacities of members of parliament, they are coming and then into next year we remove them. Another group comes in to go through the class one, class two processes. What are we doing to ourselves as a country?” Mensah-Bonsu added.

According to him, the researchers got their bearings wrong, that notwithstanding, they should be encouraged saying: “We shouldn’t bastardize them.”

Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu added: “We don’t intend to dismiss outright everything [the result of the survey], but caution [because] these findings become a good instrument for contenders” to use it to campaign against members of Parliament.

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