The Most Rev. Richard K. Baawobr, the Archbishop of the Wa Dioceses, has expressed worry over the increasing personal demands by electorates on politicians, especially parliamentarians.
He said apart from the constitutional roles of parliamentarians, there was a spate of “emerging and disturbing roles not backed by the 1992 Constitution, creeping into the body politics of Ghana”.
The Most Rev. Baawobr expressed the concern in Tumu in a speech read on his behalf at a Town Hall meeting on the theme: “The role of Parliament, local authorities and participatory governance”.
He said the required mandate of parliamentarians included representing the constituents and their concerns, participation in all legislative issues in the interest of their constituencies, exercising of oversight on the executive arm of government, rendering their constituencies services to ensure progress and development, among others.
However, he said, the parliamentarians were now saddled with unofficial programmes such as attending social gatherings, offering personal favours, sponsorship of out-doorings, weddings, payment of hospital bills, school fees, among others.
He said these demands were slowing down the parliamentarians ability to deliver.
“The role of the parliamentarian is clearly defined in the Constitution as against the role of the district assemblies. These can be referred to in the 1992 Constitution and the Local Governance Act (2010) Act 936”, he explained.
The Most. Rev. Richard K. Baawobr explained that “development infrastructure and services such as health, education, and sanitation are in the domain of the Local Authorities namely the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and Central Government”.
He called for citizen participation in decision making and accountability processes between parliamentary candidates and the electorates to foster conversation to deepen cohesion and understanding.
The Archbishop urged Ghanaians to uphold and defend peace and to ensure this year’s election was free and fair.
Elections are not new in Ghana and asked for the use of the Catholic social philosophy teaching of participation of all at all levels in national discourse in decision making, he said.
The Community dialogue was to ensure better understanding and wider consultation among constituents, educating and sensitizing on the roles of members of parliament to foster peace in furtherance of Ghana’s development agenda.