The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Owusu, has revealed that from his experience, Ghanaians are not interested in what goes on in Parliament, rather, they have much interest in the goodies that Members of Parliament (MPs) provide, a situation he think is not good enough for the country’s democracy.
According to Osei Owusu who is also the Honorable Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bekwai Constituency in the Ashanti Region, if pragmatic steps are not taken to minimize expectations of the people or review the roles of MPs in development, the escalating rate of attrition in Parliament may never stop.
“Probably, we should review the expectation or what the law expects MPs to do because, by and large, a large percentage of the populace expects you to be their development agent whereas by law you are only a law maker.”
Joe Osei Owusu made the remarks at an Open Forum on Wednesday organized by the Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD), in collaboration with the Public Affairs Department of the Parliament of Ghana. It was an interaction which seeks to open up Parliament to the ordinary Ghanaian about the laws that gets passed by the country’s Legislative arm, among others.
He informed the gathering made up of Civil Society Organizations, the Leadership as well as MPs and the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) of his experience with his Constituents whenever he visited his Constituency with the intention of informing them about the Legislative work he was primarily tasked to do.
“I tell you, they are not interested in the things that happen inside the House. There are times I deliberately raise issues concerning parliament. For example, when we were discussing Property Rights of Spouses, I deliberately generated interest but they were not interested.
“What they are interested in is the road by which you came, the public toilet, the school building etc. So it makes it difficult to try to engage your constituents on the things you do in the House,” he stated.
The one day forum which was part of the celebration of the Global Legislative Week (GLOW) in Ghana was under the theme: strengthening openness, transparency and accountability: Parliament of Ghana’s commitment.
Source: Clement Akoloh||ghanewsonline.com.gh