The Member of Parliament for Ayawaso Central and Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, has expressed his deep concern regarding the departure of experienced Members of Parliament (MPs) from Ghana’s legislative body. A number of seasoned lawmakers, representing various political affiliations, have either declared their intention not to seek re-election after the expiration of their current terms or have faced defeat in their parliamentary primaries, indicating an imminent exit from the Parliament following the December polls.
Henry Quartey underscored the potential repercussions of losing such seasoned individuals on the dynamics of the country’s parliamentary practices. He specifically emphasized the invaluable role played by experienced legislators, citing Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as a prime example of enduring presence and significant contributions within the parliamentary framework.
The Ayawaso Central MP stressed the importance of recognizing and preserving the wealth of experience and contributions made by long-serving MPs like Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, asserting that their impact has been instrumental in the overall development of the nation. According to Henry Quartey, the departure of these seasoned individuals poses a formidable challenge to the seamless continuity and effectiveness of parliamentary proceedings.
In essence, Henry Quartey’s dismay centers around the potential loss of institutional knowledge and expertise that these departing MPs bring to the table. The concern extends beyond the individual parliamentarians themselves, touching upon the broader implications for the legislative process and the sustained development of the country.
When asked if experienced MPs should be protected by their respective political parties, Henry Quartey said, “Ordinarily, it would have been a good thing to do because of the rate of attrition in Parliament. MPs doing their first and second terms and leaving Parliament does not help the parliamentary practice. When you look at other jurisdictions, you will notice that some people have been there [in Parliament] for 30 years or more, and when you look at the performance of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, it tells you that you learn on the job and that is what the country needs.”
“Having said that, the NPP believes that there should be competition, and I want to commend the national executives for allowing a contest. It was decided at the national council that everyone should be allowed to contest and that nobody should impose a candidate on anybody because we are not in normal times, and when you impose a candidate, we are likely to come to Parliament with some 60 or 70 MPs because the people will go and vote against the party’s choice or you have a lot of independent candidates emerging.
“But when the people are allowed to make their own choices, they are happy, and so they will come on board with that energy and vote for that person and campaign for that person,” the regional minister added.