A U.S Economist, Dr Sa-ad Iddrisu, has urged the nation to consider making parliament a two terms run for parliamentarians.
Dr Iddrisu made this call on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, during a zoom lecture with some Ghanaian students in the U.S on the state of governance in Ghana.
According to him, “It seems to me that we have copied the western democracy blindly without incorporating it effectively to our existing traditional systems that existed before western democracies. This has made us not to enjoy the full benefits that comes with democracy. It’s time to include our chiefs properly in our democracy and also take a second look at parliament as an institution.”
Dr Iddrisu, also pointed out that “…in other jurisdictions, people come to governance to serve after attaining certain accomplishments and success in life and thus do not take politics as a career ladder to accomplish success. However, the situation is different in Ghana. People complete universities and are already thinking of going into politics as full time careers, with zero corporate or public work experience. Thus, there is the need to put a term limit on parliament to prevent people from abusing service to the people as a route to enrich themselves as career politicians.”
“If we limit parliament to two terms like the presidential, people who make their way into parliament will challenge themselves to deliver their best for their people before exiting office. This will also prevent the situation of people spending 20 plus years in parliament without achieving much for their constituents.”
The Economist Lecturer, also added that, “…in as much as experience parliamentarians are needed to drive the house business, we must also not forget that no human was born with any work experience, and thus, new parliamentarians can gain much experience within two terms to deliver effectively. We just have to elect the right caliber of people to parliament.”
“The two term limit will also help curb the situation of the executive being in bed with the legislature all the time and help curb monocracy in our various constituencies”, Dr. Iddrisu said.
Dr Iddrisu also commended Togbe Afede XIV for returning the ex-gratia paid him. “ The venerable Togbe Afede XIV did well for returning the ex-gratia. I think MPs who win their seats and are returning back to parliament, should not even be paid ex-gratia. A developing country like Ghana has more pressing issues to solve than ex-gratia payments. We must review article 71 as a nation, if we truly want citizens to be happy in paying their taxes.”