Politics

Groom young people to replace experienced MPs – ACEPA to political parties

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The Executive Director of the African Center for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rasheed Draman, has urged political parties to adopt deliberate grooming strategies to adequately replace experienced Members of Parliament.

Some senior Majority Members of Parliament, including the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, have signalled that they will not be seeking reelection in the next parliamentary elections in 2024.

Their decisions have raised concerns about creating a deficit of experienced legislators.

In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Rasheed Draman called on political parties to develop a deliberate strategy to phase out MPs.

“In Norway, the parties have academics; they prepare young people, they have a way of preparing people to go to parliament. In that system, you can have a lot of young people in parliament, with people who are already prepared, people who have gained some experience through the preparations and support that they have had from the parties.”

“In our system, I don’t know if there is any school or academic where a candidate who is preparing to go to parliament is taken through some kind of skills training and preparations. You wake up, and if there’s a mad rush, everybody wants to go to parliament without any experience. And then you have these experienced hands leaving; then it creates a big void.”

Dr. Draman also bemoaned the impact of the exit of some experienced MPs on the business of parliament.

“The work of parliament, legislative work, is not for the faint-hearted; I mean, it’s not for everyone. You get the experience by doing, and you learn by doing. People become very important assets, both for the parties, parliament, and the country. I would have hoped that there has been some cause in the past for some seats to be protected. I would have hoped that the parties in parliament would have found a way, at least to ensure that through some internal negotiations and agreement, some seats will be protected,” the Executive Director of ACEPA said.

Among the noteworthy MPs opting not to seek reelection are prominent figures such as Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu (Suame), First Deputy Speaker Joe Osei Owusu (Bekwai), Atta Akyea (Abuakwa South), Joe Ghartey (Essikado Ketan), and Ken Agyapong (Assin Central). Their decision undoubtedly leaves a void in the party’s leadership and parliamentary representation.

 

Other MPs who have decided to step down include Dan Botwe (Okere), Kwasi Amoako-Atta (Atiwa West), Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (Sefwi Wiaso), and Emmanuel Marfo (Oforikrom). Additionally, Benito Owusu-Bio (Atwima Nwabiagya), Carlos Ahenkora (Tema West), Nana Kwasi Adjei Boateng (New Juabeng North), William Owuraku Aidoo (Afigya Kwabre South), Johnson Adu (Ahafo Ano South West), Francis Manu-Adabor (Ahafo Ano South-East), Suleman Sanid (Ahafo Ano North), Kojo Kum (Ahanta West), and Francisca Oteng (Kwabre East) are among those opting not to seek reelection.

The reasons behind their decision remain unclear, with speculation ranging from potential retirements from politics to pursuing alternative professional opportunities or taking a break from the demanding nature of parliamentary life.

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