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Politics of Sunday, 23 June 2019

Source: The Herald

Minority leader used what I taught him against me - Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu

The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, has praised his counterpart, Haruna Iddrisu of learning very fast as a first time Parliamentarian.

His desire to learn, he noted saw him calling at midnight for answers on the proceedings and how to go about conducting affairs in the House.

But soon as he was taught what he wanted to learn, he Mr Iddrisu, will be seen using what he has been taught against he the Majority Leader on Television programmes the following day.

Speaking at a media encounter in Parliament yesterday on the recently published University of Ghana survey on the performance of Members of Parliament, the Majority Leader, said some first-timers have proven to have learnt Parliamentary work very fast and well.

For him, other first-timers have proven to be doing well, but he will wish that MPs are encouraged to stay on for a very long time, in order to acquire the requisite knowledge in building the Parliamentary institution.

Mentioning the Members of Parliament for Manyhia South, Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh and his colleague for Ofoanse-Ayeribi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah as first-timers who registered their competence in Parliamentary business, the Majority Leader indicated that the longer an MP stays, the better he becomes.

In a bid to ensure that MPs stay longer in Parliament to acquire the requisite knowledge and experience to enrich the Parliamentary institution, Mensah Bonsu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame in the Ashanti region indicated that the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, has started a process with the political parties to help find a way of keeping the experienced ones in Parliament.

The Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who also gave his thought on the survey, reiterated the point that Parliament is not against the conduct of researches into the performances of MPs in their constituencies but expects the researchers to collaborate with the House to get the modalities right.

He said, it was not entirely correct that MPs do not visit their constituents on a regular basis but the point is the cost of visiting.

For example, he said MPs would have to be carrying a huge amount of monies when visiting the Constituency because of the endless demands which range from hospital bills, school fees, funeral donations, naming ceremony to marital supports.

In his admission, he runs away from the Constituency anytime he is running low on money because he will not be able to meet demands.

Explaining further, he noted that if he has about Ghc1000 left on him, he looks for the next flight back to Accra because Ghc1000 will not be able to meet any demand, adding that a constituent will not understand especially when it is a Sunday where there will not be any financial institution working.

Again, he said the report has a shortfall in relation to the hearing of MPs on the floor during debates.

“You may not hear the voices of some MPs on the floor of the House during debates, but their speciality and the wisdom they contribute at committee levels, cannot be valued”, he stressed.

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