The Speaker of Parliament, Mike Oquaye, has urged new legislators of the 7th Parliament of the 4th Republic to constructively contribute to debates in the House.
His admonishing is suggestive of complaints by think tanks and governance experts that some Members of Parliament do not take part in debates on the floor of the House in all their four-year tenure as representative of their constituencies.
“Apply the Question Time well. Your brilliant visibility will affect your re-election. I will meet with leadership on this and seek the support of the leading Think Tanks in Ghana to help you deliver. A comprehensive mentoring process is vital for improved performance,” the new speaker said during his inauguration on Saturday.
Professor Mike Oquaye was inaugurated on Saturday to replace Edward Adjaho who was speaker of the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic.
Professor Oquaye took the oath of office administered by Chief Justice Georgina Wood on January 7, 2017, to usher in Nana Akufo-Addo’s Presidency.
In his inaugural speech, Professor Oquaye also urged the majority in Parliament to be guided by the best principles of governance.
“To the majority, let me remind you that we have a two-party Parliament heavily dominated by you. There is, however, the need to be guided by high ethical consideration so that we do not relapse into ultra majoritarianism, a symptom of the tyranny of the majority.
“We will encourage healthy debates. To the minority, even though most parliamentary business is organised on majoritarian principle, the time-honored rights of the minority to open, frank, fair and honest debate so as to make your case and offer constructive alternatives will be respected under my stewardship. Both the majority and the minority must be guided by the mandate given to the government to build a vibrant society anchored on the principles of fairness and equality of opportunities.
“The promotion of good governance requires a parliament that can effectively perform the three cardinal functions of representation, oversight regarding the executive and law making. Our ability to control public expenditure will be good service to our people,” he said.
He also bemoaned the current conditions of service of Parliamentarians and called for its improvement.
According to him, the salaries of the Members of Parliament must be reviewed.