Deputy Whip of the Minority in Parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim, has stated that the 9th Parliament will suffer from the exit of experienced members known as “old hands.”
Some 18 lawmakers of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), including the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, have decided not to seek re-election.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame in Kumasi, is a lone ranger in the party’s caucus from the 1997 stock.
It is not clear why the Majority Leader is taking a bow, but a tradition of mocking longstanding MPs as “Mugabe” cannot be ruled out.
Mr. Ibrahim indicated that the departure of Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who was trained by J.H. Mensah, will have a negative impact on Parliament.
“As for representation, you will get somebody to represent you, but as for replacement, you cannot replace the institutional memory and capacity of the departing MP, and that is how Parliament is going to be negatively affected,” the Minority Deputy Whip stated.
“We take you, invest in you and throw you out,” he lamented, and suggested that the government’s underutilisation of experienced MPs might have contributed to their decision to exit the House.
He claimed that the potential of Essikado MP, Joe Ghartey, and Asante-Akim Central MP, Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi had been squandered because the government refused to allow them to play major roles.
“You see Joe Ghartey, you see Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi, which post is he holding? Zero,” he told Accra-based radio station, Citi FM.
Ahmed continued, “Joe Ghartey, which post is he holding? Zero. Joe Ghartey was a former Attorney General and a former Deputy Speaker, but he is there, and his party is not using him. So he sees himself as being underutilised.”
“And do you think that when that happens he will contest again, he will not. Kwame Anyimadu-Antwi was a law lecturer from Tech, he is here, they left him and took a first-timer as an Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General in those days. Anyimadu-Antwi is still there, a law lecturer, with 16 years in Parliament,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NPP MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong, has also said that the Majority Leader is irreplaceable.
“How can you do the work of Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu? He has a devoted time [for Parliament]. Let me explain. It is not the frequency of which he will visit his constituency and be greeting people that matters. That is not what will make him the people’s MP,” he said on Asempa FM.
“Go and see the work that Kyei-Mensah does in Parliament and the time he has for the work. He can sit for several hours to prosecute the business of government, while the Speakers keep changing.
“The one who is coming cannot fit into Kyei-Mensah’s shoe. Kyei-Mensah is just a short-smallish guy, but his shoe is big and long for the good works he has done for the NPP,” Kennedy Agyapong noted.
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