Defeat Of 40 NPP MPs Danger To Akufo-Addo Gov’t

Prof. Ransford Gyampo Prof. Ransford Gyampo

Last Saturday’s Parliamentary Primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the defeat of 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) is being subjected to postmortem analyses with a warning from Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Prof. Ransford Gyampo, that the departure of the MPs, must be a source of worry to the Akufo-Addo government.

The MP for Oforikrom Constituency in the Ashanti Region and a member of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, Emmanuel Marfo, has also opined that that the loss of seats by some MPs, will negatively affect the work in parliament as inexperienced personalities will be forming the next Parliament on the NPP side. While, the Oforikrom MP reasoned that losing some of these MPs, will mean that there would be a void in certain roles by certain people in parliament, Prof. Ransford Gyampo, charged “had it not been the undemocratic intervention by the party echelons to protect some of the incumbents, there would have been a disaster as more heavy weights would have fallen.” Prof. Gyampo, explained that the defeat of the incumbent MPs, meant that the policies and good works of the government may not have reflected in the various constituencies, and asked that the issue needed to be addressed quickly.

In an interview with GhanaWeb, Prof. Gyampo said “although some aspirants who won the primaries are known favourites of the President, the loss of seats by over 40 incumbent parliamentarians must be a source of worry to the government. Had it not been the undemocratic intervention by the party echelons to protect some of the incumbents, there would have been a disaster as more heavy weights would have fallen.”

“This, by a proactive stretch of imagination, can point to a certain yet to be empirically tested view that, the parliamentarians have not served and reflected the achievements of the incumbent government well in the constituencies. If this is true, then even though some seats may still be safe, some votes may be lost, and this may have implications for the Presidential elections, which must be unpacked and quickly addressed.” He added. Prof. Gyampo, on the hand, said the defeat served as a good omen with regards to representation in parliament stressing that the huge loss serves as a warning because the foremost function of a parliamentarian is to act in the interest of constituents. In his view, the defeat of incumbent MPs would have been more if some of the aspirants had not been protected by the party to go unopposed. “The idea of parliamentary representation simply connotes going to parliament to act in a manner responsive to the interest of constituents. Parliamentarians are therefore to act first in the interest of those who sent them there and also consult constituents in their decision-making on matters that directly bothers the constituency.” he averred.

The MP for Oforikrom Constituency, speaking on the Happy Morning Show, lamented about the inexperienced party members coming to form the next Parliament.

“You can imagine that someone has been in parliament for four years and then Parliament starts building his capacity for a certain key role only for the person to lose in the primaries. In other jurisdictions, the party assesses your performance when you go to parliament for four years and then maybe in your second term, leave you to the party executives”. The other aspect is in the case of someone like Ben Abdallah Banda who has lost. It is so sad because I am thinking of a replacement for him. His commitment to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary affairs committee’ work in parliament is unmatched. And in parliament that is one of the loaded committees”, he said. According to him, this phenomenon of sitting MPs losing their seat will only be creating a weak parliament. He, thus, recommended that political parties think about a strategy to maintain people whose roles in parliament are very crucial to the development of parliamentary works. “The political parties need to sit down and think about a strategy that when somebody rises to a certain role, they are able to negotiate with the party to make sure that there is some form of protection or negotiation because some have served in certain roles that they have become institutions themselves”, he added. In the just-ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Primaries, at least 9 chairpersons and vice-chairpersons have lost their bids to represent their constituents in Parliament. Among those who have lost include the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah who lost the New Juaben South seat to the Executive Secretary of Free Zones, Michael Okyere Baafi. Ben Abdallah Banda, who is also the Chairman of the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee has also lost the Offinso South seat.

Source: The Herald