Parliamentarians “have every disincentive not to annoy the president.”
Former Minister of state and former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of parliament Albert Kan Dapaah has revealed that Parliament has no independence to play its oversight role over the executive.
He said parliamentarians “have every disincentive not to annoy the president.”
“To oversight usually means you are auditing. To oversight, what you need is not PHD in auditing, not in law, not in accounting. What you need is independence. You must be independent of the person you are going to audit. At times I ask myself has parliament got this independence to hold the president to account. I doubt it." He said .
Speaking on Citi Fm, the former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee said there are only three crucial positions in parliament and all of the those positions are appointed by the president.
“270 members in parliament the real movers and shaker in parliament are three the speaker the majority leader, the majority chief whip all of them personally appointed by the president.”
The constitution of the republic has compounded this mediocre oversight role played by parliament according to the former minister.
“All these parliamentarians from the government side have been assured in the constitution that the president will choose most of his minister from among their lot." Kan Dapaa said "you must be a very very bold person to annoy the president by not voting for anything that he brings there, because we just don’t want to be parliamentarians we want to be ministers, so why should I go and challenge the presidents and vote against any bill that he brings there and find myself in the nab books of the president.”
He said those who have no ambition of becoming ministers will be deprived of developmental projects in their constituencies when they stand up against the president.
He also bemoaned the practice where almost all the laws passed by parliament emanate from the president.
“The presidency decides on a particular piece of law, “ He said, “they bring it to parliament were we discuss it most times the president has the majority of parliamentarians so if you put it to vote he will always win. That has been the trend since 1993”
He said until things change parliament will find it difficult to play the independent over sight role require of it.