The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs (MOPA), Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has disclosed that the vision of his ministry is to play the role of a bridge builder between Parliament, the Executive and the citizenry.
MOPA, as part of its mandate, is to ensure that Parliament has a deeper understanding of government policies that are brought before the House for approval in order to get the needed support from the House. It is also to enhance Ghana’s good governance credentials by engaging leadership on both sides of the House on consensus building.
“Though on matters of policy the Majority and Minority may differ; it is my hope that the Ministry will seize the opportunity, using the instrument of the Ministry, to build consensus for the good of Ghana, in order to enhance democratic governance. The Ministry will serve as a platform for sharing of ideas between the majority and minority,” Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said.
As part of efforts to bring Parliament closer to the people, the Minister cited instances where citizens had presented complaints to Parliament for redress yet, leadership faced challenges in addressing their concerns, pointing out that, “The re-creation of the Ministry will become the vehicle to address those complaints from the citizenry.”
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of Parliament on the theme, “Enhancing the effectiveness of Parliament in Ghana’s democracy; the role of the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs”, the minister shared examples of how in India the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs is the lead agency in the capacity building of Members of Parliament and added that his Ministry will learn from the Indian experience.
He also touched on the need to improve relations between Members of Parliament and Municipal, Metropolitan, and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), another thorny area in Ghana’s decentralization process.
According to him, the Ministry is ready to collaborate with the Ministry for Local Government to bring a harmonious working relationship between MP’s and the MMDCE’s, which will result in serenity in the governance process at the local government level.
The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, is not a new ministry as many thought, it has existed for 16 years in different forms, since the coming into force of the 1992 Constitution, to serve as an interface between the Executive and Parliament.
On his part, the Minority Leader, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, noted that it is their responsibility as leadership of Parliament to reduce the excessive partisanship in Parliament, pointing out that, “Though we have policy differences, the country must come first”. He indicated that he and his team would support the Hon Minister, to use his Ministry to achieve consensus building for the benefit of the country.