Bawumia Tasks MPs To Build Consensus

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

VICE PRESIDENT Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has called on Parliament to adopt in its existing procedures and processes new ways of doing business, with focus on collective approach to delivering the requisite public goods and services for which the citizenry have entrusted their mandate with them.

According to him, the current composition of Ghana’s Parliament is certainly indicative of a “voter population that desires consensus building for a unified political force, rather than the divisive, overly partisan, winner-takes-all, intolerant political system, which obtained, and unfortunately still remains in many African countries.”

Dr. Bawumia was addressing the opening session of the Executive Committee Meeting of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)–Africa Region in Accra yesterday.

“The emerging trend close to parity in number of seats in parliament between Majority and Minority parties as pertain also in Sierra Leone, beholds us to perhaps to adopt in our procedures and processes new ways of doing business with focus on collective approach to delivering the requisite public goods and services for which the citizenry have entrusted us with their mandate,” he stressed.

The Vice President said, “We cannot relent in our effort to ensure that we live by ideals and principles of all inclusive government, government of the people by the people and for the people.”

On the continent, he stated that the CPA Africa Region is in a unique position to contribute to the resolution of challenges on security and related matters currently facing the continent.

“As a representative of the varied and diverse people of the African continent, I can only urge you to strengthen your constructive engagement with respective parliaments in support of their governments for lasting solutions to the myriad of issues confronting our citizenry.

“While we continue to make major strides at the political, economic and socio-cultural fronts on the continent, there remain concerns about general decline in democratic governance with indications of reversals or subversion of some democratic principles such as freedom of speech, freedom of association, general respect for the rule of law, free and fair elections, a peaceful transfer of democratic power from one regime to another,” he pointed out.

Dr. Bawumia said parliamentarians should be concerned about the recent spate of military interventions in the sub-region.

“Democratic governance is gradually coming under threat on the continent. It is a notorious fact, regrettable though, that in the event of any instability it is always the legislative arm of government that suffers the brunt, because the legislative arm is usually proscribed.

“Manipulating constitutional provisions to serve sectional political interest should not under any circumstance be encouraged amongst you as representatives of the people as such actions only undermine the integrity of our nations, apart from eroding the gains we make as a people,” he posited.

Dr. Bawumia urged MPs on the continent, as trustees of the people’s authority, to “jealously guard against our democratic gains since you are directly in contact with your constituents at all times.”

According to him, these can best be achieved when they harness their collective effort in furtherance of the public interest.

“Terror attacks and threats of attacks in some areas of the continent have triggered discussions on the need for early warning mechanisms. Recent military interventions in countries such as Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso, and Chad, are undesirable, to say the least, as they set our countries and region back,” he added.

BY Ernest Kofi Adu