The Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica) joins the Rt. Hon. Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin and the Leadership of the House in welcoming back from recess, all Members of Parliament to the Second Meeting of the Second Session of the Eighth Parliament of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
Also, on behalf of Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations and other stakeholders interested in the development of Ghana’s Parliamentary Democracy, applaud the Parliament of Ghana for pursuing a carefully planned agenda for this Parliament and for demonstrating commitment to the tenets of Open Parliament while taking the necessary steps to ensure its implementation.
As a Parliamentary Monitoring Civil Society Organization promoting Open Parliament across the continent of Africa, PNAfrica would want to lend its support to the Rt. Hon. Speaker’s commitment to Open Parliament and his resolve to lead the charge by example as articulated in his opening remarks in Parliament on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
“To succeed to implement this agenda, Parliament itself must be open, transparent and accountable to the people. As the saying goes, charity begins at home. As the Constitutional and Legal head of Parliament; the spokesperson; the arbitrator and the guarantor of its authority, independence and privileges, I pledge to lead this effort by example,” Rt. Hon. A.S.K. Bagbin remarked.
It is pertinent to note that the start of a new meeting of Parliament such as this, presents a new opportunity to renew the hope and confidence of the people in the democratic institution of Parliament and the individual Members of Parliament as representing their ultimate interest.
It is therefore a good opportunity to remind Members of Parliament in particular, and politicians in general, to be mindful of their social contract with the people in the performance of their legislative and representational functions with honesty; being open, transparent and accountable to them with honesty; and performing their oversight role over the Executive Arm of Government by holding them accountable for their stewardship without fear or favor, in safeguarding the national purse.
As the Legislative Arm of Government and the legitimate representative of the people in whom a lot of confidence and responsibility has been reposed, the people expect their interests to be served and protected at all times. Therefore, the Speaker’s remarks to the effect that, “Parliament will dedicate more attention to its oversight functions”, for the rest of the 2nd session of Parliament is in the right direction.
“While we continue to put in all legal efforts and processes to consolidate the strengthening of the institution of Parliament and the empowerment of Members to perform their duties and responsibilities effectively and responsibly, in this second session we will take several vigorous steps to strengthen the hand of the House to hold Government and the state institutions accountable to the people for the power, trust, resources and hope reposed in them,” he said.
It is also worthy to note as welcoming news, the initiative being taken by Parliament to widen the scope of its relationship with the Judiciary for a more complementary role in the governance structure of the state by calling for a more comprehensive national discourse on the subject with its partners and stakeholders.
This, we reckon, will help Parliament to finetune its rules, laws and Standing Orders to comply with the provisions of the Constitution of Ghana. It will also help to efface the perceived adversarial spectacle which dominated the relationship between the two organs of Government in the previous meeting of Parliament.