Minister-designate for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu has cautioned Members of Parliament (MPs) to stop feeding the perception that their duty is to develop their various constituencies.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu during his vetting by Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Friday, February 12, 2021, called for public education to correct the perception.
“It’s not only the members of the general public who think [MPs] are development agents, but our own conduct feeds into that, wrongly or rightly. In high profile elections, it’s the face of the MP that’s out there. The MMDCEs, who are responsible for development at the local level, aren’t elected, so people see [the MPs] as the face of the area.”
“We should learn useful lessons from our own conduct. We need the NCCE as a House to help us educate the populace out there that the Member of Parliament is not really a development agent. But of course, it also depends to a large extent on how we conduct ourselves in our activities.”
This was rehashed by the Executive Director for the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rashid Draman on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.
He blamed Parliamentary candidates for the unrealistic demands electorates make of them contrary to their role.
“MPs go and mount campaign platforms and make all kinds of outrageous promises. On the other hand, if we have an informed citizenry then people are able to discern and understand what the MPs can do and cannot do and that will inform their voting choice.”
To reverse the trend, Dr. Draman reiterated calls for the electorate to vote for local government officials who are resourced to ensure development at the local level.
Over thirty Members of Parliament lost their seats in the 2020 general elections.
Citi News‘ interactions with some constituents showed that many voted out their MPs over the poor nature of their roads and other developmental projects.