Accra, Dec.16, GNA – Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, has proposed a constitutional amendment to the current provision on the creation of additional constituencies.
To him, with a population of about 31 million, Ghana should not have more than 200 parliamentarians.
The Minister, also the Majority Leader in Parliament and MP for Suame, made the proposal in an answer to a question at a media briefing in Accra.
He said the National Democratic Congress (NDC), when in power, created additional 105 constituencies while the New Patriotic Party Administration created 30 extra parliamentary seats.
Such developments, he said, did not help the country’s finances as it increased government’s expenditure.
Currently, Ghana has 275 parliamentary seats with both the NPP and NDC having 137 seats each with one independent parliamentarian.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said both the Majority and Minority groups had been engaging in dialogues and consensus building on a number of issues in Parliament adding that issues of national interest should supersede those of political party interests to entrench democratic governance and patriotism.
He called for a review of the 1992 Constitution to decouple the Legislative Arm of Government from the Executive to ensure efficient governance.
On the proposed electronic levy (E-levy) in the 2022 Budget Statement of Government, he said the Minority should focus on how monies to be accrued from the levy would be expended instead of completely opposing it.
As part of Parliament’s oversight responsibility of ensuring accountability and transparency, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu called on members to demand how much monies from the E-levy would be expended on road infrastructure, education, health and other social facilities.
He expressed optimism that Parliament would make a headway in approving the E-levy as the Minority Caucus had now moved from “Zero tolerance for E-levy” to “at least one per cent E-levy” during the committee meetings to discuss the budget estimates.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said government needed revenue to develop the country and believed the E-levy would accrue eight billion Ghana cedis annually instead of the GHC78 million accruing from road tolls.
With the global Covid-19 pandemic, he said, government needed to raise revenue internally to execute its programmes and policies.
He urged the media to be concerned about the stability and integrity of the country’s democracy and avoid raising tension through their reportage.
Source: Ghana News Agency