Don't incite public against legislators - Speaker reacts to controversial survey

Don't incite public against legislators - Speaker reacts to controversial survey
Source: Ghana| |Abubakar Ibrahim |
Date: 11-06-2019 Time: 08:06:53:pm
Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Ocquaye

The Speaker of Parliament is taking on University of Ghana researchers, accusing them of seeking to incite the public against the legislature with their research on MPs performance.

Prof. Mike Oquaye said the citizenry has to be careful not to take delight in MP bashing as part of the country’s culture.

“I plead that we should understand these things because MPs are representatives of the people so elected,” he said. 

A survey conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has revealed that MPs from the opposition NDC are doing better than their colleagues from the governing NPP.

Explaining the survey, which evaluated the 275 MPs through perceptions of their constituencies, Senior Lecturer and head of the research team, Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, said the research is aimed at seeking the views electorate hold about their MPs performance.

Related: ‘Incumbency jinx’ blamed for survey that reveals NDC MPs performing better

It showed that 46.7% of respondents across the 275 constituencies do not want their MPs retained.

Another 46.7% respondents also say they do not want their incumbent MPs to contest in 2020 general elections.

The issue became topical Tuesday, after the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu and Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu drew his attention to the issue on the Floor of the House.

“This report and the subsequent discussion of them in the media leads me to think that it is time MPs got involved in how they are being evaluated,” Mr Osei Owusu who is also the Bekwai MP said.

He added: “When it comes to public discussions you can’t help it as what people would say has nothing to do with the report itself but when a body like a research group from UG takes on an assignment like this, it is incumbent on us to assist them to be able to do it in a manner to reflect the true role of an MP.”

On his part, Mr Iddrisu disagreed that MPs are non-performers.

“Relative to Tamale South, I am not a non-performing MP and I can say so for many of my colleagues…both the NDC and NPP are just about commencing processes for primaries and this will be used against many which is unfair,” he said.

He said they are worried that a large majority are said not to be re-elected which will deprive parliament of its experienced members.

Reacting to the survey, the Speaker said, “To be touting that they are going to leave the House en masse because of what someone else is saying is not fair to the institution of parliament or the people’s own representatives power.

“In fact, it is tantamount to incitement and it is not fair,” he said instructing the leadership of the House to contact those behind the research to make them understand the work of Parliament. 

”We are ready to cooperate in all these things but the very areas of assessment must be clearly defined by the people,” he added.