As the December 7 general election approaches in Ghana, all political parties have been called upon to maintain civility in their rhetoric and rein in any erring members.
Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader in Parliament and Leader of Government Business, emphasized the importance of respectful discourse during the campaign season. Speaking at the official opening of the First Meeting of the Fourth and Final Session of the Eighth Parliament of Ghana in Accra, he urged parties to focus on ideas, policies, and programs rather than engaging in personal attacks.
“We must critique ourselves on the efficacy, practicality, and sustainability of the policies and programs that we unveil,” Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated, highlighting the need for constructive debate.
Quoting Ghana's former Head of State, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, he emphasized national unity and the importance of preserving peace in the country. He called on Ghanaians to be guided by this principle, especially during the election period.
Addressing concerns about the monetization of the electoral process, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stressed that democracy should benefit the governed, not just those in power. He urged political parties to focus on policies that would bring economic benefits to the people rather than prioritizing financial interests.
Regarding legislative matters, Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu mentioned bills that were passed before Parliament adjourned, to which the President communicated his inability to assent. He noted that the Speaker had issued a statement on this matter, and the Majority side would provide comments once the statement is made available.
Recognizing the short timeframe for the current parliamentary session, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu suggested the possibility of extending sittings, possibly including Mondays, to ensure that parliamentary business is conducted effectively.
In conclusion, he called on Members of Parliament to rededicate themselves to their responsibilities during this meeting, emphasizing the importance of diligence and commitment to serving the nation's interests.