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21.12.2005 General News

Speaker's breakfast forum held

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Accra, Dec. 21, GNA - The National Governance Programme (NGP) has delivered a concept paper to the Presidency for the establishment of a Presidential Breakfast Forum that would enable the President to interact with various groups with the aim of building trust between the Chief Executive and the people of Ghana.

Mrs Leonora Kyeramaten, National Coordinator of the NGP, said the Presidential Breakfast Forum was to be fashioned after the Speaker's Breakfast Forum.

She was speaking at the 19th Speaker's Breakfast Forum in Accra on Wednesday on the theme: "Consolidating Democratic Governance: the Role of Parliament and Civil Society."

Mrs Kyerematen said: "Democracy is said to be consolidated when it is stable, vibrant, efficient and accountable, adding that democracy was like a planted tree that could not take hold if it were not tendered, watered, nurtured and protected. She said Parliament could help to deepen democratic governance by promulgating good laws founded on the will and desires of those they represented.

"... Parliament must make effective use of its oversight function...Mr Speaker, corruption is a major threat to democratic consolidation in Ghana. Parliament has an opportunity through its oversight role to help to arrest the tide of corruption. The NGP recommends that Parliament makes anti-corruption a focal concern of one of its sub-committees," she said.

Mrs Kyerematen also urged Parliament to promote the recommendations of the National Reconciliation Commission report "for mass human rights education and institutional reforms aimed at preventing the kind of "egregious human rights violations, heard by the National Reconciliation Commission and chronicled in the pages of the NRC report." "The NGP encourages Parliament to have the report formally laid before it and to take things from there."

On the role of civil society in consolidating good governance, Mrs Kyerematen said these groups had an urgent responsibility to demand greater openness, greater accountability greater transparency and greater tolerance..."

On accountability, she said although the Constitution required only a few institutions to lay their annual report before Parliament, "we as a nation must develop a convention of encouraging the Judiciary and other institutions of horizontal accountability to lay their annual report before the people's representatives and for Parliament to also publish an annual report of its stewardship." Mr Ebenezer Sakyi Hughes, some members of Parliament, the diplomatic Corps and a section of the public attended the forum. 21 Dec. 05