The Majority Leader of Parliament and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has bemoaned the quality of Members of Parliament in the house in recent times, including those from his side, the New Patriotic Party(NPP).
In an exclusive interview with TV3, the majority leader stated, “what we have in parliament as MPs I must admit we suffer some weakness today” in response to a question about the quality of MPs on his side.
He explains that some of the experienced MPs have taken up ministerial appointments and hardly have time to contribute to parliamentary business, even though he said they have been encouraged not to relinquish their parliamentary duties.
“In the main, so many of us who came into parliament have been taken out and have been made ministers and deputy ministers who don’t usually have time to come and participate in the business in the floor of the house”
He added, “ We keep telling them that they should manage their time such that they should be able to have time to come to parliament to participate in the business of parliament and go later to their office to work, and for many of them it’s become difficult.”
The leader of the majority side of the house also thinks that what has contributed to the dwindling quality of MPs is the fact that they are not allowed enough time in parliament to gather relevant experiences. He said unlike the United States of America where the average tenure of a member of the senate is 24 years, the situation is not the same in Ghana were after some time in parliament “you find people coming and banging doors, coming to… oh this man has been there for two terms, he has been there for three terms but is that his father’s property?”
In his assertion, that should not be the case because “Parliament is like wine, the older the better” suggesting the older MPs are of a better quality.
This is not the first time the Suame constituency MP has raised concerns about the quality of MPs in parliament. His recent comments are a reiteration of similar concerns he had raised in the past about the quality of debates in parliament. He had described them as poor and alluded the situation to the kind of people who were voted as MPs.
He said it is about time Ghanaians paid a little more attention to the quality of the people who are voted into parliament. He noted the political space has been monetized.
“I honestly think that as a country we should be looking at the quality of people that are coming to parliament. Increasingly, if we must admit I think money is too much taking centre stage in our politics”