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General News of Sunday, 23 June 2019

Source: adomonline.com

It’s undemocratic to retain long-serving MPs – Prof. Asare

Professor Stephen Asare, a constitutional law advocate, has described as undemocratic arguments for the retention of experienced Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House.

He explained that MPs worth their salt must be able to explain to his or her constituents why he or she must be re-elected to the House after the four-year mandate has elapsed.

Prof. Asare was reacting to calls by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on political parties to protect sitting MPs from losing their seats to new entrants.

Being the longest-serving MP for Suame Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Mr Kyei- Mensah-Bonsu indicated that the rate at which experienced and seasoned lawmakers are defeated at their party’s primaries was worrying.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, maintained that the high attrition rate paving way for new MPs was affecting the growth and development of Parliamentary procedures.

In a rebuttal, Prof Asare pointed out that a peoples parliament in a democracy should not be run like a chieftaincy institution since “it is a constitutional provision for MPs to submit themselves for re-election after four years, protecting them will amount to circumventing the processes.

Using the exploits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who are both great footballers, to buttress his assertion, he told the legislators, “prove that you are the Messi or Ronaldo in Parliament and your constituents will retain you when satisfied with your work,” and cautioned parliament not to make any attempt to amend the constitution for their selfish interest.