Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin addressing the forum
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, has bemoaned the fact that there is poor understanding by citizens on the role of Parliament and Members of Parliament (MPs).
“The people do not know how the institution operates, the duties of MPs, what they do, and the value of their service and other deliverables”, he indicated.
He said because of this, MPs are regarded with cynicism and distrust by those they represent.
The Speaker was addressing a public forum held in Takoradi as part of activities to mark the 30th anniversary celebration of parliamentary democracy in the country.
It was on the theme, “Thirty Years of Parliamentary Democracy under the Fourth Republic: The Journey thus far”.
He mentioned that the oversight function of Parliament, which hitherto, was the worst performer, has consequently improved slightly.
He said more light is now being thrown in on the dark side of governance and the country has been adjudged as having the most open Parliament in Africa adding “However, a lot still remains to be done”.
The Speaker noted that Ghanaians have since January 1993, stayed the course and committed themselves to the multiparty constitutional democratic rule despite serious challenges and disappointments.
“A lot of progress has been made. The initial populous majoritarian Parliament has transitioned into a hung parliament of equal representation, 137 a piece”.
He said the very word “politician” has a pejorative connotation adding “This is one of the basis of the trust deficit that the politician has to contend with, and one of the reasons for the reversal of democratic gains in parts of West Africa”.
The Speaker commended all those who played important roles in returning Ghana to democratic rule.
“The truth is that, with all the imperfections that we might associate with the current governance system, there is still no alternative that is better than what we have now”, he added.
“The most important thing is for all of us to wake up to our civic responsibilities to protect and defend the constitution of Ghana”, he emphasized.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi