Dr. Rasheed Draman, the Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has recommended that political parties implement intentional training approaches to effectively replace seasoned Members of Parliament.
Certain prominent Majority Members of Parliament, such as Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, have indicated their intention not to run for re-election in the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2024. This has sparked apprehensions regarding the potential shortage of experienced lawmakers.
During a conversation, Dr. Rasheed Draman emphasized the need for political parties to formulate a purposeful plan for the gradual transition of MPs.
“In Norway, the parties have academics; they prepare young people; they have a way of preparing people to go to parliament. In that system, you can have a lot of young people in parliament, with people who are already prepared, people who have gained some experience through the preparations and support that they have had from the parties.”
“In our system, I don’t know if there is any school or academic where a candidate who is preparing to go to parliament is taken through some kind of skills training and preparation. You wake up, and if there’s a mad rush, everybody wants to go to parliament without any experience. And then you have these experienced hands leaving; then it creates a big void.”
Below is a list of MPs who will not contest in the 2024 elections.
Dr. Draman also expressed concern about the negative impact of the departure of seasoned MPs on parliamentary proceedings.
The responsibilities of parliament, especially legislative work, require individuals with robust dedication; it’s not a pursuit for everyone. Expertise is gained through active engagement, and these individuals become invaluable assets to both political parties and the nation.
“Ideally, I would have expected some measures in the past to safeguard certain seats. I had hoped that parliamentary parties would have devised internal mechanisms, involving negotiations and agreements, to safeguard specific seats,” remarked the Executive Director of ACEPA.