Parliament, resumes sitting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 to continue where they left off for the year ending 2021. Since the inception of the 8th parliament, many unexpected and disgraceful events have unfolded. This kind of ‘Rambo style’ of deliberating on issues is a direct opposite of what the word ‘Parliament’ is supposed to mean.
Many have been blaming the ‘unparliamentary’ practices on the split parliament we currently have. That is woefully unacceptable. If a split parliament cannot go about their duties as expected, then their very existence cannot be justified in any way.
From the very beginning, the precedent set over the election of a speaker of the house in which the perpetrators of the brawl have been shielded from sanctions till date, certainly is a motivation for subsequent reoccurrences as seen in December during voting on the e-levy bill. It beats imagination how individuals who have been voted for cannot simply vote in a serene manner. That certainly generate the debate on whether parliamentarians forget just whom they owe their responsibilities because their practices and utterances defeats the national purpose and strengthens their individual impulses.
There are many who are of the view that, government appointees and parliamentarians alike have proven above the laws of the country. Mainly due to the autonomy that protects the three arms of government, each tries to shield wrong-doing that goes on among members. This tortoise pace of applying sanctions to those culpable in all arms of government just strengthens the school of thought that political appointees and elected officials in public offices are above the law. The delicate level of our democracy cannot condone this any further as there are serious ramifications for the future.
The Kenyan Parliament has set a worthy queue by promptly suspending an MP who assaulted his colleague during a debate in December 2021. Same, an MP just a few days ago was suspended for sharing lollipops to members when serious business was going on. These are good examples we can learn from.
It is certainly out of place for citizens to remind lawmakers that violence should not be a means of solving disputes. It is equally puzzling that members would resort to violence over the numerous legitimate avenues open to them in registering their displeasure with their opponents in the House. Members of Parliament could vote against bills they disagree with, undertake boycotts or walkouts or engage in public debates as a means of shifting public attitudes on any issue at stake.
This current Parliament with its many deficiencies have presented us the opportunity as a nation to reignite the debate on the benefits we can derive from having a bicameral legislature. This one autonomous house is proving to be inefficient in trying times and needs to be reviewed. Obviously, there are many countries ripping the benefit of such commitments in the bicameral parliamentary system. It is about time, Ghanaians also give it a thought.
In one voice, we join Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey (IDEG) & Dr Kofi Takyi Asante (ISSER) in their article posted on graphic.com.gh captioned “New Beginning for Ghana’s Parliament” saying “As Parliament prepares to resume sitting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, it is our hope that this new year would mark a new beginning where consensus-building would replace the usual winner-takes-all politics in the House. We are counting on our elected leaders to put the national interest first and to demonstrate a deeper commitment to democratic culture, while restoring confidence in our democratic institutions.”
News commentary expresses displeasure at how members of the 8th Parliament have gone about their duties so far and calls on them to act in a manner that is befitting of their status as Honourables.
Teacher, Tokuroano M/A Primary A
Oti Region, Dambai