Speaker of Parliament must come from Parliament – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu
Mr Osei-Mensah Bonsu Minority Leader on Saturday said Ghana’s Parliament would have gained the needed strength if the function to select the Speaker of the House was vested in Parliament.
He said the current arrangement was more of executive manipulation that enfeebled Parliament.
“It is the first building block of devaluing Parliament. It reduces the House to a footnote of the Executive,” the Majority Leader said.
He stated that it was only Ghana and one other country that was using this system.
Speaking at a capacity building seminar organised for parliamentarians on the proposed constitutional amendments, the Minority Leader said, “It is important to elect from within our own fold who the Speaker should be.”
The two day workshop, which is organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), will examine the matrixes of the proposed constitutional amendments.
It has the theme: “Giving Voice to the Voiceless in the Ghana’s Constitution.”
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said constituting Parliament, especially choosing the head, should be the prime business of the House and not the Executive arm of Government.
He also criticized Article 108 of the 1992 Constitution, which said Parliament shall not proceed upon a bill including an amendment to a bill unless that bill was introduced on behalf of the President, which he explained blighted the power of Parliament.
Mr Rashid Pelpuo, Deputy Majority Leader, said the Constitution represented the aspirations of the people and there was the need to be cleaned to suit current needs.
He thanked the public for approaching the review process with passion and commitment.
Mr Peluo said sometimes the views we held could not be justified unless it was tested through thesis discussions.
He said there were serious questions as to whether members of Parliament should be ministers of state.
Mr Pelpuo thanked the IEA for organizing the workshop.