UG research on Parliament ‘unfair’

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Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye has described findings of a research conducted by some lecturers at the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana as unfair.

The said research indicated among others that, constituents did not want half the number of MPs back in the house, based on their performance so far.

But, the Speaker argues that the research failed to capture all aspects of MPs work and duties.

“A Member of Parliament who is assessed without his or her works in committee cannot be said to be properly assessed. Therefore you need to know the person’s contribution to the committees because the committees are the workshop of parliament; well established throughout the world. That is where we do the nitty gritty before we come to the plenary. We should all understand these and make them part our assessment”, he noted.

Prof. Mike Ocquaye urged researchers to collaborate with MPs next time to come up with accurate findings.

“I will not want anybody to say that, MPs and the Speaker  don’t want them to be assessed. But assessment should include the methodology and areas for assessment. If they don’t get the subject areas for assessment right, then you cannot assess the person [without pointing] out what he or she is supposed to do. I will therefore invite  that our doors are opened to all those who want to carry out such exercises. This is not a matter that is supposed to be done in secrecy. It must be done openly.”

Executive Director of the Parliamentary Network, Africa, Sammy Obeng  has said the report should be a wake-up call for parliamentarians and Ghanaians adding that the findings is a major cause of alarm.

“I think MPs should be extremely worried. Ghanaians should also be extremely worried. To predict that, about 180 MPs risk losing their seat in the upcoming election is a worrying trend.We should be worried. MPs should start revising their notes on how to create chamber constituency balance in the work that they do so that no aspect of it suffers going forward.”

The findings 

The report revealed that 49.5% of Ghanaians surveyed said they will not vote for their incumbent Member of Parliament citing poor performance and a lack of representation.

Majority of the respondents representing 46.7% also do not want their incumbent MPs to contest in 2020 general elections.

42.4% according to the research want their MPs to contest while 10.9% are undecided on whether their MPs should contest or not.

The respondents were also asked to rate the performance of parliamentarians and the result showed that less than half of the respondents representing 45.7% were satisfied.

52.3% were not satisfied with the performance of the parliamentarians.

The research titled ‘A mid-term study on MPs:  Emerging issues’ also revealed that the supposed poor performance on the part of the MPs was responsible for voter apathy among the electorates.

It also disclosed that at the national level, 87.8% declared their intentions to vote in the upcoming general elections as against 9.7% who said they will not vote if elections were going to be held today.


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