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Regional News of Friday, 8 February 2008

Source: GNA

Workshop on Parliament held in Techiman

Techiman (B/A), Feb. 08, GNA - A three-day workshop has been held at Techiman to allow Parliamentarians to sensitize their constituents on proceedings in Parliament. It was attended by about 140 participants, representing political parties, traditional authorities, traders, farmers, students, religious leaders, teachers and the media.

The workshop, under the theme, "Meet your Member of Parliament", was organized by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and sponsored by Konrad-Adenaur Stiftung, a German political Foundation. Its objective was to enable the MPs to account for their stewardship to the people and to bring Parliament to the doorsteps to especially people in rural areas.

Mr Isaac Owusu, Senior programmes officer, said the Foundation was shifting to the several demands of accountability from political leaders to elections, which had become an important tool in ensuring accountability, which had been fraught with deficiencies including manipulation and majority dominance.

Mr Jones Kugblenu, Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, speaking on "The Procedures of Parliament", called on the electorate to observe proceedings in Parliament to avoid the blame-game on their MPs and stem the manipulation of the country's democratic process. He said the MPs' share of the Common Fund of five per cent would be increased to seven and a half per cent to enable them to meet the demands of their electoral areas.

Mr Alex Kyeremeh, MP for Techiman North, who spoke on "Proceedings in Parliament in the last three years", explained that the Fourth Republic of Ghana, which attained 15 years as at last January, had made strides in promoting democracy in the country. He mentioned the plenary sittings, the state of the nation address, legislative mandate, executive treaties, financial scrutiny and tackling of national issues that had been embodied in the 1992 Constitution as a measure of sustaining multi-party democracy system in the country.

Mr Kyeremeh said he had during his tenure provided more than 600 students at all levels with bursaries and scholarships to 350 other students and had also established evening classes for students who could not obtain good passes in Science, Mathematics and English with his share of the Common Fund, GET Fund and HIPC Fund, in his constituency. Mr Addai Simons, MP for Techiman South, said they had been making contributions in Parliament towards the development of Techiman municipality.

He mentioned the development of a culture village, sports development, the central market, extension of electricity to various communities, the police barracks project and the construction of a nursing training centre.

The MP urged the people to support them to achieve proposed objectives in education, health and sports development to enhance their living standards.

Mr Jimmy Yeboah-Assiamah, Techiman Municipal Secretary of GUTA, said the workshop would enable political activists to be circumspect in their political campaigns.

He said the workshop would also examine social accountability at the local level and demands for good governance, based on the active development of citizens in exacting accountability from elected representatives to accelerate development towards poverty reduction. Nana Owusu Gyare 11, Akwamuhene of Techiman Traditional Area and the Municipal Cultural Officer, who presided, called on the National Commission for Civic Education and Parliament to provide more copies of the 1992 Constitution to second cycle institutions to serve as textbooks instead of the abridged one to enable them to become abreast with their rights and responsibilities.

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