Ghana Parliament worried over high attrition rate
The Leadership of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic has bemoaned the high attrition rate in the legislature, calling on parties to review their respective constitutions to allow for continuity that would proficiently grow the country’s democracy.
They contend that occurrence cannot facilitate the growth of Parliament, which needs experienced legislators, and Parliamentary skills for smooth representational, oversight and law-making roles.
Despite the inauguration of the Parliamentary Training Institute recently that seeks to enhance the capacity of present serving and debutant parliamentarians, the leadership of the House is of the view that the reduction in attrition rate would save time and cost in training new members.
The leaders made the call at the closing of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic on Friday morning in Accra prior to its expected dissolution.
The dissolution which would come midnight of the same day will be followed by the constitution of the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic at which Parliamentarians-elect would be inaugurated and then troop to the Independence Square to witness the investiture of President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Saturday, January 7.
Outgoing Majority Leader and leader of Government Business Alban Sumana Bagbin noted that there were 80 members on the side of the outgoing Majority NDC who exited the House, adding that of these 42 were new entrants.
On his part, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu the outgoing Minority Leader observed that the minority group in Parliament started with 123 members, later reduced to 122.
“Out of the 123 we began with, 60 were new entrants. Today, of the 169 that will be entering the next Parliament on the ticket of the NPP, 80 are continuing MPs and as many as 89 are new breed.
“I am the lone ranger in my Party’s caucus from 1997-2001 stock. Just two remain in the 2001-2005 stock. For the 2005-2009 group, we have 20 remaining. The current majority caucus who are in the incoming minority suffer from the same affliction,” he noted.
According to Mr Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu the outrageously high attrition rate cannot facilitate the growth of Parliament and neither has it adequately grown the Parties involved.
“The political parties need to do serious introspection and reflect on their respective constitutions,” he advised.
He urged the members to be upbeat their health, take rest and undergo regular medical check-ups as well as exercise regularly to keep body and soul together.