Reform governance style – Minority Leader to President
The Minority leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reform his governance style so that it would instil confidence in the people of Ghana and help the country’s democracy to succeed.
He said Ghanaians were fast losing hope in the country’s democracy and that must not be allowed to continue.
“Our country is not sitting well in some of the things we do.
“As Parliament has reformed itself through the introduction of the new Standing Orders, so we also call on the government to also reform,” he said.
New Standing Orders
Parliament last Tuesday began the implementation of its new Standing Orders with the introduction of a daily roll call of members and recitation of the national pledge.
The new Standing Orders replace the old ones which have been in existence since 2006.
The intent, among others, is also to instil discipline and promote a sense of duty in respect of the people who voted for them.
Dr Ato Forson, who is also the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam in the Central Region, contributed to the leadership of Parliament’s engagement with the media last Wednesday.
The media engagement precedes every meeting in a season to outline the programmes of the House and key issues to be tackled.
Parliament reconvened last Tuesday for its first meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eighth Parliament.
Dr Forson said the President’s style notwithstanding, Parliament was determined to “guard against derailment of Ghana’s democracy.”
“This democracy is most enduring and has prospered in Ghana.
It has its weaknesses and we are working to perfect it,” he said.
On Parliamentary work, Dr Forson said, the House was evolving so “if we don’t get something right, we call on the public to correct us to help our democracy to mature and be sensitive to the needs of the people,” he said.
On the introduction of new taxes, the Minority Leader said the new tax regime was not properly “conveyed” to the public and it was the reason labour unions and civil society organisations had been agitating against it.
He said the ideal situation was to have sought or solicited inputs from key stakeholders before rolling them out.
But the Majority Leader and New Patriotic Party MP for Suame in the Ashanti Region, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said due to the limited time, it was not feasible to engage all stakeholders on such a key issue but rather, going forward, Parliament as the representative of the people should be engaged before the introduction and presentation of the budget.
He said that was what used to be the case and even cited the engagement with the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, before going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Unfortunately, he said that did not happen before the last presentation of the budget.
“The fact is that a country must run on taxes and nobody can run away from that,” he said.