The Catholic Archbishop of Accra, Reverend John Bonaventure Quofi, expressed concern at the growing demand for members of parliament holding offices outside their constitutional mandate.
He said the overburdening of parliamentarians made it difficult to focus on their responsibilities in terms of advice, legislation and supervision, which is detrimental to good governance.
Most MPs complained that the practice had hurt them, but they couldn’t avoid it for fear of losing the election, he said.
Archbishop Quofi raised these issues in a speech he read on his behalf at the public meeting organized for the population of Kponé Catamanso by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.
On the subject: The meeting on the role of parliament, local government and participatory governance in community development brought together representatives of the political parties, the community assembly and the traditional authorities to conduct a dialogue on issues of interest to the electorate.
Archbishop Quofi said that Members of the European Parliament are increasingly being asked to provide services beyond their powers to voters, in the form of personal assistance and subsidies to leaders, entrepreneurs, local party activists and supporters.
There is an increasing demand for parliamentarians to attend public gatherings such as weddings, funerals and outdoor walks, pay hospital bills, tuition fees and bride’s fees, and make various forms of donations to churches and mosques to vote in Parliament as representatives of their constituents, he said.
Archbishop Quofi stressed that the primary mandate of the MPs is to represent the constituency in the parliamentary debate, draft legislation, supervise the executive and provide services to the constituency.
He stated that the legally defined roles of district assemblies were wrongly assigned by voters to parliamentarians as the main promoters of development projects at constituency and district level.
The situation is exacerbated by the fact that many voters are unaware of the real role of a Member of Parliament, he said.
The Archbishop of Accra said that district, city and metropolitan assemblies are institutions that should be competent to carry out development projects in the different districts.
If meetings provide the infrastructure necessary for critical development, the pressure on parliamentarians to deliver them can be reduced so that they can concentrate on their constitutionally prescribed tasks.
Solomon Appiah, president of the municipality of Kponé Catamanso, said that when deciding who to vote for in the upcoming parliamentary elections, voters should think about how that person can contribute to the country as a whole.
Mr. Simeon Theye Narte, spokesman for the traditional government in Kponé, said the chiefs have played an important role in Ghana’s struggle for democratic development.
However, he pointed out that chiefs are now marginalized in the decision-making process.
The earth is ours. The people are our people. That is why there is a need for extensive consultation between the political department and the leading institution, according to Nartech.
As a candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the only PC attending the meeting, Hopeson Javi Adorie explained that his vision includes the promotion of education, employment, security, peace and stability in driving.
He promised to help build a public high school in the district and give primary schools the opportunity to improve their performance.
Mr. Adorie said he will develop a talent discovery program to identify the talents of young people in sports, music and other creative disciplines that can contribute to the income of young people.
He stated that he would help to increase security in the district by establishing several police stations, installing more street lights and ensuring that the activities of the Territorial Guard are kept to a minimum by law enforcement agencies.
Oyibi Fafraha District Police Chief Kwaku Bempah accused the officials of having been dismissed impartially and professionally during the December elections.
He advised young men to behave well, for he who behaves badly is punished by the law.
Mr Seth Sorti, Director of the National Commission for Civic Education of the Catamanzo Municipal Assembly in Cpona, warned the population of the continuing increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
It is important that they continue to adhere to all protocols, including washing and disinfecting hands, wearing face masks and social distance practices, to prevent a second wave of the pandemic in the country.
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