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02.03.2006 General News

Parliamentary democracy is good - MP

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Accra, March 2, GNA - Mr Par Granstedt, Vice President of the Association of European Parliamentarians for Africa, a group of European parliamentarians, who have the interest of Africa at heart, on Thursday commended Ghana's Parliament for demonstrating true democracy. "It is a privilege to see democracy in action, having healthy discussions and respecting one another's view," he said, when he paid a courtesy call on Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs.

He had earlier visited Parliament to witness parliamentary proceedings, which coincidentally was the day the Minority returned to Parliament after several days of boycott. Mr Granstedt is in the country to discuss Ghana's participation in the Pan-African Parliament, where African Parliaments would be encouraged to be involved in the agenda of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

"Africa has a lot to learn from Europeans, likewise, Europeans have a lot to learn from Africans. Meeting and learning from one another is extremely important," he said.

Mr Granstedt said the programme was to assist the consolidation of parliamentary democracy in Africa and keep Africa's interest high on the European agenda.

He mentioned a five-year plan for African Parliaments, which would comprise meeting with parliamentarians in Africa to form a United African Parliament.

The plan would also include developing a national parliamentary action plan, which would serve as a guide to parliamentarians not to work for their own interest but to work in the interest of their constituents.

Mr Owusu-Adjapong reiterated the need for European and African parliamentarians to meet and share ideas to enable them to lobby to influence their governments' decisions that could affect development in Africa. He noted that some decisions taken by the European Parliament such as agricultural subsidy in Europe could affect Ghanaian farmers.