Majority leader and Member of Parliament for Suame constituency, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has asserted that effectively fighting corruption as a nation should begin within the various political parties.
According to him, the organization of primaries by political parties is increasingly monetizing the country’s politics and thereby breeding corruption.
The Majority leader stated this at a programme to mark Global Legislative Openness Week (GLOW) from 20th Nov – 30th Nov under the theme: “Open forum on strengthening openness, transparency and Accountability: Parliament of Ghana commitments.”
The week is set aside for all Legislatures globally to celebrate the strenuous efforts by Parliaments all over and Parliamentary Monitoring Organizations (PMOs) to make legislatures more transparent, open, accountable and responsive to citizens.
He lamented that people with fat wallets are increasingly taking over Parliament and that constituents have persistently complain that the quality of debate in the House has reduced.
He cautioned that Ghana as a nation is nearing the precipice of catastrophe and if care is not taken it would tip over.
Hon. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu averred that no politician goes into politics as a Father Christmas because politics is not like religion where people donate with the expectation of reaping dividend in heaven.
“A politician sows today he wants to reap today. Some may not even have the patience to reap tomorrow. They want to reap in the evening of the day that they planted the seed,” he stated.
The Majority leader averred that the political parties are not transparent when it comes to election fund raising and expenditure and stressed that this secretive area should be one to focus on in the fight against corruption.
He stressed that the two major political parties in the country have succeeded in dragging the minor parties in conducting parliamentary primaries at the end of the life of a parliament and queried, “Is it producing good results for us or is it simply helping to monetize our practice of party politics in the country?”
He argued that those who criticize and complain about the quality of debate in Parliament going down, are the very ones that expect their MPs to make financial overtures to them for their support.
“We must be careful and charitable to ourselves and do some introspection where we wish to go as a nation,” he said.
He stressed that elsewhere in the well established democracies, this kind of system does not operate where the end of four or five years is ‘open sesame’ and everybody is invited to compete.
Democracy, he said, is guided and guarded and that whatever happens to Ghana’s democracy, Ghanaians have all agreed to open the floodgates.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org