Checks And Balances: "Ghanaian MPs Have Failed"
A former Dean of the GIMPA Law School, Kofi Abotsi, says Ghana's Parliament has over the years failed citizens due to its inability to keep the executive arm of government accountable.
Speaking at the Second Edition of the Ghana Action Series organised by the One Ghana Movement under the theme 'Responsible Citizenship and Accountable Leadership', the lawyer accused the Legislature of being more concerned about protecting partisan and executive interest rather than that of the ordinary citizen.
Mr. Kofi Abotsi explained that the primary motive for the formation of parliament was to act as a check on the executive, a role he says has been neglected over the years.
“The concept of the framers of the constitution was to put together a group of people who are parliamentarians structured in a certain way who are going to lead us by ensuring that the executive are being checked. Parliament was supposed to play that role. Starting from the first parliament…, there was an expectation that this is our president, this our executive, Parliament's expectation was therefore to go into parliament and promote the agenda of their executive so you have parties in parliament seeing themselves as an extension of the executive. That is where we got it wrong up until today.”
He cited the uncompleted Madina-Adentan footbridges as evidence of parliament's neglect of the concerns of citizens over the years.
According to him, if parliament was proactive, the Roads and Highways Minister would have been dragged to parliament and the necessary measures would be put in place to curb future deaths on the Madina-Adenta highway.
“If Parliament was to play its accountability and responsibility as expected of parliament, the Adentan footbridge would not have been a problem, and the Minister of roads and highways would have probably been in parliament answering questions.” He said.