An Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for European Studies of the University of Ghana, Prof Ransford Gyampo, has expressed disappointment over how some Members of Parliament in the Majority Group are trying to undermine the Speaker of Parliament’s attempts to restore the lost glory of Parliament.
According to him, “since 1993, Parliament has been toothless and functioned in the shadows of the executive merely as a rubber stamp.”
He added that “rather than commending and encouraging Speaker Bagbin who is helping to stabilize the balance of power expected to exist between the executive and the legislature in a democracy, some are politically misbehaving towards him.”
“It is baffling to see some parliamentarians, particularly from the majority group, trying to undermine attempts by the Speaker to restore the lost glory of Parliament as countervailing authority to the powers of the executive,” he stated.
He questioned whether the attitude of those who now have problem with Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin’s assertiveness is born out of ignorance or a subservient mentality ingrained in their psyche as a result of long period of executive dominance over parliament.
He noted that “we’ve always had Speakers of Parliament from the camps of the ruling parties who have whipped and guided parliament into accepting executive dominance over the legislative arm of government.”
According to him, Ghanaians have voted for a hung parliament and parliament itself elected a Speaker outside the ruling party and so everyone must respect this verdict and allow the Speaker to function.
He further encouraged Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin that well meaning Ghanaians are in full support of his efforts so he should not pander to comments from parliamentarians who are yet to liberate their mentality from the shackles of overbearing executive dominance over the legislature.
“Steer the affairs of the House in a manner that strengthens parliament as an effective oversight body and a countervailing authority to the powers of the executive,” he stressed.
“Don’t mind them, do your work and exercise your powers as provided by the constitution. Don’t play to the gallery.”
“Assert the independence of parliament in a manner that forces the executive to learn the rudiments of “real politik” in their relationship with the legislature,” he stated.
Professor Gyampo believes that “Ghana’s democracy is evolving and we cannot have executive dominance over the other arms of government in perpetuity.”
“There must certainly be a power that would counter the exercise of power, and the bitter comments of a few parliamentarians who only know the bogus norm of parliamentary subservience to the executive, must be inconsequential in our quest to ensure parliamentary assertiveness and independence,” he indicated.
He went further to urge the NDC Minority Group not to sit aloof and leave this battle to the Speaker alone.