The leadership in Parliament has called for national conversation on the future of Ghana’s parliamentary democracy and the impact of money in weakening the Legislature.
Monetization of the country’s body politic, they pointed out, is a major concern hence the need to protect the integrity and sanctity of the House.
They lamented that very experienced members are always swept away by the power of money politics, demanding the protection of the sacredness of Parliament as the citadel of democracy.
These concerns followed the outcome of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries that saw about 40 Members of Parliament including Committee Chairmen lose their bids to contest in the 2020 general election.
Addressing the matter on the floor of Parliament yesterday, Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu who has consistently lamented the high attrition in Parliament argued there is no democracy anywhere in the world where at the end of a term the floodgates are opened for all comers.
According to him, democracies across the world are guided and guarded and that nowhere are they opened completely for new comers.
“We should appreciate this and the parties should build into their systems a mechanism to grow their parties in Parliament.
“Parliament is the bastion of democracy. It is not the executive and it is not the judiciary. It is the reason why when there is coup d’état only Parliament is proscribed,” he stated.
Parliament, he said, is the shield and anchor of every democracy and warned that a Parliament that is not strong derogates the democracy.
The Majority Leader who is also the MP for Suame, Kumasi in the Ashanti region cautioned that it is not healthy to the growth of Parliament that 25% of its members are jettisoned during primaries as witnessed during the NPP primaries.
He urged the various political parties to introspect and take a second look at their constitutions.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu warned that the current development if allowed to continue would really decimate Parliament
On his part, Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu expressed concerns whether the outcome was indicative of the members or the government being unpopular or whether money was popular.
He said there is the need for a national conversation on the politics of monetization that has crawled into the country’s body politic.
The Minority leader lamented the defeat of the Chairman of the Finance Committee Dr. Assibey-Yeboah and Ben Abdallah Banda, Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
“I could not imagine a Parliament tomorrow without these two and on my side the Hon. Yieleh Chireh and Inusah Fuseini,” he said.
Mr. Iddrisu who is also the MP for Tamale South in the Northern Region urged for the strengthening of the Caucuses and how Parliament relates to the political parties such that it can make recommendations on who deserves protection during primaries in order to keep the democracy alive and strong.