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05.03.2009 Editorial

Where is thy honour, Mr. MP?

By The Enquirer

Members of Parliament (MPs) are supposed to be representatives of the people, and, as lawmakers, are expected to hold high the rule of law.

Like other members of the wider society from which they come, at one time or the other they find themselves at the wrong side of the law.

However, when MPs assume office and it emerges that they had misrepresented themselves falsely to the electorate to vote for them into office, then that becomes something else.

Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu is the MP for the Bekwai Constituency. Even though he was known to be a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), he decided to contest in the 2008 elections as an independent candidate, and he subsequently presented himself to the electorate as such. His party's position was clear on the status of a person who engaged in that conduct - he lost his membership.

The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana makes it clear that any MP who decides to leave a party on whose ticket they entered Parliament to join another party, automatically relinquishes his/her seat. In the same manner, the Constitution states that any person who presents himself to the electorate as an independent candidate and decided to join another party after being elected into Parliament, also automatically loses his seat.

In the course of the last Parliament, Prof. Wayo Seini, who had gone to parliament on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), crossed carpet to join the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He immediately relinquished his parliamentary seat for a by-election to determine his successor.

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning, Mr. Osei Owusu stated categorically in an interview on Accra-based Radio Gold that he had returned to the NPP and been admitted back into the fold.

We believe that if Mr. Osei Owusu is a man of honour, then he should do what is right by resigning from Parliament as an MP, since his pronouncements clearly indict him as having misrepresented himself to the constituents as going to represent them in Parliament as an independent candidate.

Source: The Enquirer

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