Mensah Thompson of ASEPA writes...

Folks the seventh Parliament stands dissolved tonight and as usual the farewell messages have begun...
Principal of them is the State of the Nation Address given by President Akufo -Addo in the august house yesterday where he boldly proclaimed that this Parliament was by far the best Parliament in the fourth Republic.

The President’s only basis for such unsolicited accolade to the seventh Parliament was the number of bills passed into law by this Parliament.

As if that was not traumatizing enough to us Parliamentary critics, Speaker Mike Oquaye also took his turn today with his closing remarks, reiterating the same misleading statement peddled by the President and rationalizing it with the same basis.

Folks we need to remind these two gentlemen that in accordance with Global Standards, no Parliament in the World is measured by the number of bills it is able to pass into law...that is not the KPI for Parliamentary procedures.

The success and effectiveness of any Legislative Assembly is measured by its ability to hold the Executive arm of Government in check and create a balance of Power in a democracy.
That is the key indicator for Parliamentary success..EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT and how much of the public interest that Parliament was able to safeguard through its diligent scrutiny and effective oversight!
Not the mere passage of bills into law which can be done by almost anyone.

Now considering the Global KPI of Parliamentary procedure as mentioned above, can we still be bold and beat our chest that this Parliament has been the best in the fourth Republic...I doubt even Speaker Ocquaye would be this dishonest!

Not after bills like the Ameri Novation deal, the Infamous Agyapa deal,the Parliamentary Bribery Scandal and many other situations where this Parliament threw its oversight responsibilities to the dogs and became but a mere rubber stamp for Executive Policies has been rightly pointed out.

Of course this Parliament chalked some successes like passing the everlasting Right to Information Bill, which is even yet to receive the appropriate legislation to be operationalized plus a few other minor successes, they cannot be enough to deserve the unwarranted accolades misappropriated to it by President Akufo-Addo and Speaker Mike Oquaye.

Important bills like the affirmative action bill and other very relevant bills still remains moot hoping to see favor in the next Parliament if they are successfully re-laid.

For me, the highlight of this Seventh Parliament is Speaker Oquaye’s extreme partisanship which we can all attest to without any shred of doubt as the worst in the fourth Republic!
His brute animosity towards the Minority which became extremely evident in the closing moments of this Parliament may make his re-election as the next Speaker extremely surprising to some of us Parliamentary watchers.
Don’t be surprised even if some members of his own Party ditch him...
What the next Parliament needs is everything but extreme partisanship which has been Speaker Oquaye’s trademark in the chair.

By and large this seventh parliament is nothing but an ordinary partisanship rubber stamp Parliament, a stooge of the Executive and no amount of political smugness can whitewash that.

Mensah Thompson
Executive Director,ASEPA