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The resuscitated Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs (MoPA) which had become comatose for the past eight years under the recent past National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration led by Ex-President John Dramani Mahama, is to serve as the interface between the Executive and Parliament and to coordinate the successful prosecution of government business on the Floor of Parliament through the vehicle of consensus building.
This is according to the current Minister Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, who doubles as the Majority Leader and representing the people of the Suame constituency in the Ashanti Region in the Parliament of Ghana.
Speaking at a recent media interaction in Accra to unveil the programmes and objectives of the revamped Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu observed that his outfit has positioned itself to monitor and evaluate the implementation of government policies and feedbacks to parliament and the executive.
He rejected completely accusations of the emasculation of the Legislature by the Executive while strongly pointing out that the vision is rather to promote consensus building among the political class in a purposed, transparent and accountable manner, to deepen and broaden inclusiveness in the country’s chosen path of participatory democracy.
“Our role is unique, in that as part of the Executive we serve as a tool for executive self-censorship. Meaning that, as government we are sensitive to the sensibility of preferences, actual or perceived of the polity. And without overt pressure from any specific political party or any institution of authority, the ministry is entrusted among other things to act as a liaison between the Executive and the Legislature,” he stated.
Hon. Mensah-Bonso argued that, it was imperative for the Majority Leader who doubles as the Leader of Government Business in Parliament to be made a Minister. According to him the hybrid system of governance being practiced by the country, where the constitution allows not less than 50% of Ministers to be chosen from among Members of Parliament, leaves the appointing authority with no other choice.
“As the Majority Leader, your party controls the Executive and you become the Majority Leader. If you become the Leader of Government Business, you need to understand what government business is. You should be part of the evolution of the policies and programmes of government but not necessarily being a cabinet minister. But at least you should be there to understand the evolution of government’s policies and programmes, to understand the bolts and nuts of its creation in order that when you lead business in parliament, you will not only sound convincing but you would also sound persuasive in order to be able to carry your people along.”
The Ministry intends to undertake such research as may be necessary to enhance the collaboration between parliament and the Executive and Civil Society groups.
Source: Clement Akoloh || ghananewsonline.com.gh