The Ghana Institute of Social Democracy has organised a one-day training workshop for parliamentary aspirants of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The training programme is part of preparation towards the party's upcoming parliamentary primaries to be held later this year.
The workshop was held at the national headquarters of the NDC in Adabraka in Accra on Saturday 18th May, 2019 under the auspices of the Ghana Institute of Social Democracy (GISD), a school affiliated to the party.
The workshop was under the theme, “Introduction to Parliamentary Politics.”
In all, about four hundred (400) parliamentary aspirants from various constituencies across the country were inducted after haven gone through the registration process.
The training programme was categorised into the following five lectures, history and identity of the NDC, the philosophy, principles and practice of social democracy, parliamentary studies, parliamentary campaigns and elections as well constitutional studies and electoral conflict management. Each lecture was facilitated by seasoned and experienced politicians of the party.
Registrar of the institute and Director of Research of the party, Dr William Ahadzie in his opening remarks and welcome address stressed the need for parliamentary aspirants to sharpen their skills and improve on their knowledge before they finally get elected to parliament.
He noted that the training programme is also meant to diffuse the tensions and acrimony that have characterized previous parliamentary elections which usually result in the opposing candidates going independent which negatively affected the electoral fortunes of the party.
The lecture on parliamentary studies was competently facilitated by the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Member of Parliament for Nadoli/Kaleo, Hon Ask Bagbin.
He stressed the need for parliamentary aspirants of the NDC to abreast themselves with the basic rudiments of parliamentary proceedings and that it will go a long way to improve the quality and calibre of MPs in the house.
"Most of the new MPs are still in the learning stage which sometimes affects the outputs of parliament,” he added.
The Hon Deputy Speaker challenged the aspirant to take the lecture very serious since it is a grey area in modern democracy and said it is been taught in over twenty-four ( 24 ) universities in the UK.
He took the participants through the following topics under the lecture Parliamentary studies, definition of parliament, parliamentary studies, how parliament works, duties of a parliamentarian, and our country, our parliament.
"Usually it is not what you read in media about Parliament, but it is about what parliament actually do “-the legislator bemoaned.
The Hon MP also advised the Parliamentary aspirants to make time to read the standing order of parliament and other manuals on parliamentary proceedings.
“I always have my standing orders with me my constitution wherever i go,” he indicated.
He said Parliament is currently considering sittings to be in the afternoons say 2pm up to 8pm to enable workers pass by after work to observe proceedings.
Parliamentary campaign and elections lecture was facilitated by the 2016 campaign coordinator and former National Organizer of the NDC, Mr Kofi Adams.
He underscores the significance and importance of the lecture saying “you must first get elected before you can go to parliament and getting elected means you have to campaign.”
Mr Kofi Adams who himself is an aspirant urge his fellow aspirant to take this aspect of the lecture very serious.
He discussed the following topics with participants in power point presentation Characteristic of an effective campaign, campaign messages, organising a campaign, campaign funding and fundraising among others.
The other lectures were also facilitated by other senior members of the party for instance history and identity of the NDC was presided over by Hon Kofi Attor, former MP, former Deputy General Secretary and Vice Chairman of the NDC.
The philosophy, principles and practice of social democracy was by Dr William Ahadzie who is Director of Research of the party while Hon Ken Dzirasah, former Deputy Speaker of Parliament took the aspirant through constitutional studies and electoral conflict management.
In his closing remarks, the Rector of the Ghana Institute of Social Democracy (GISD) expressed his sincerest appreciation to the facilitators for making time out of their busy schedule to grace the occasion.
He also thanked the aspirant for registering and taking part in the workshop and indicated that the training workshop will be replicated in other parts of the country.
He also announced that plans are underway to recruit and train polling agents as early as possible to enable the party prepare adequately for the presidential and parliamentary elections.
Certificates were awarded to participants.