Prime News Ghana

Parliament's structure limits operation of independent candidates - Dr. Owusu-Ansah

By Mutala Yakubu
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Dr Emmanuel de-Graft Johnson Owusu-Ansah who works at the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, and formerly at the Department of Mathematics, Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology says the structure of Ghana's Parliament limits the operations of independent candidates.

Dr Owusu-Ansah's comments were on the back of issues involving the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Member of Parliament for Fomena Andrew Amoako Asiamah.

The party have written to the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye to notify him that Mr Asiamah is no longer an NPP member as he is contesting as an independent candidate in the upcoming election.

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Dr Owusu-Ansah speaking on Joy FM's Newsfile on October 17, 2020, said having many independent candidates in parliament is a good thing but the system and structures hinder their operation

"We find it difficult to see independent candidates expressing independent views in parliament. They don't exhibit that kind of independence. We must see the independence in parliament. Having independent candidates in principle is a good thing. It is healthy for our democracy but the structure of our parliament makes it more difficult for our independent candidates to operate and survive. This is because every particular issue in parliament has a political stand."

The Fomena MP, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, is contesting as an independent candidate in the 2020 election though he was elected on the ticket of the NPP in 2016.

Per the NPP constitution, this means he has forfeited his membership of the party thus compelling the NPP to write to the Speaker of Parliament to cause Mr. Asiamah to vacate his seat.

Parliament is yet to comment on the MP’s status.

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, is yet to take a decision on the matter.

Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu the Majority Leader said the Speaker of Parliament’s “attention has been drawn to it, but he is pondering over the content of the letter.”