The editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper says the recent indecorous behavior and agitations in Parliament is undermining its legislative authority.
Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr reacting to Tuesday’s chaos and near fisticuffs over the approval of the 2022 Budget, said the dishonourable behaviour by the MPs taints Ghana’s image on the international stage.
He said as honourable men and women; they should know better than act in such a manner.
“The institutional integrity and the corporate integrity of Parliament is at the brink. What happened on January 6, and what happened recently is completely unpardonable. Legislative hooliganism if you like is completely unacceptable.
“It affects Parliament itself, its moral authority, its legislative authority and Ghana’s international image. So, to be honest with you, it’s a bad sign; one cannot be happy as a Ghanaian,” he told host of Newsfile Samson Lardy Anyenini on Saturday.data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
According to Kweku Baako, the events on the midnight of January 6, 2021, where confusion and chaos erupted in Parliament over the election of a Speaker, should have served as a lesson for them.
However, senior vice-president of IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil believes that actions that led to the approval of the budget is best for Parliament as it changes the ‘winner-takes-all’ narrative in the House.
“Much as there seems to be quite a lot of chaos, and we are not happy with the kind of indecorous and dishonorable behavior we see in Parliament, we need to bear in mind that this is not a bad thing. It is not a bad thing for Parliament to scrutinise and hold the Executive to account and the ultimate test of holding somebody to account is to look in the person’s face and say ‘no’.”
“When you have a situation like this when the Minority effectively is going to have a say and determine somehow what happens in the Executive’s budget, then you cannot claim that you have a winner takes all so I’d like us to keep in mind that this is not a bad thing and indeed we should improve on it,” the private legal practitioner said.
Mr Bentil further called for an amendment of the constitution to exempt some Executive members from becoming legislators to ensure the independence of Parliament.
“I am one of the people who believe that we should we should stop connecting Parliament to the Executive and have a Parliament which is purely about legislation and oversight and make sure that our Parliament is capable and actually act to be a check on the Executive, failure to do that create a lot of problems.”
“This is the purpose of the Parliament and I am one of the people who believe we should stop taking Ministers from Parliament; if we amend our constitution, that’s the first thing to amend so you have a Parliament where people go in and stay in Parliament and they act as professional parliamentarians, representing their people and be a check on the government,” he noted.