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Partner with the morally upright, Opposition urged

By Vision Reporter

Added 20th September 2017 02:30 PM

Osegge said that although elected legislators have the mandate of the people, they have no power of execution since they do not control finances.

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Osegge said that although elected legislators have the mandate of the people, they have no power of execution since they do not control finances.

Angeline Osegge during the workshop in Abuja, Nigeria

OPPOSITION|ALLIANCES

Opposition politicians should ally with morally upright civil society organisations and religious based groups in order to favourably compete for power, the Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana, Alban Bagbin, has said.

Bagbin, who was presenting a paper on “Government and Opposition: Roles, rights and responsibilities,” said that civil society organisations and religious groups possess the moral high ground needed to win over people.

“The Opposition should try as much as possible to partner with the civil society, particularly the intelligentsia and faith-based organisations, who are on moral high ground that is needed to win elections,” he said during the second day of a benchmarking workshop for selected leadership of Opposition in Parliament.

The workshop is being held at the National Institute for Legislative Studies in Abuja, Nigeria.

MPs in attendance include the chairperson of public accounts committee, Angeline Osegge. Silas Aogon ( Kumi Municipality); Fred Tumuheirwe (Rujumbura) and Santa Alum (Oyam district).

The MPs serve on the accountability committees of public accounts; commission, statutory authorities and state enterprises and Government assurances and implementation.

Bagbin, the MP for Nadowli-Kaleo in the Upper West Region in Ghana, was Majority Leader during the National Democratic Congress government, which lost to the New Patriotic Party in the December elections. He was elected Deputy Speaker of Parliament.

He said the Opposition must seek allies and avoid trying to lean on the side of the majority, especially in the House.

“People should see you doing the right thing based on honesty and integrity; once you get the moral high ground, whether the president is listening to you or not, persons listening to you will force him to listen to you,” said Bagbin.

Osegge said that although elected legislators have the mandate of the people, they have no power of execution since they do not control finances.

“And whenever there is dissatisfaction in service delivery, the nearest government person that can be identified is the Member of Parliament,” she said. 

Tumuheirwe wondered how party structures can be strengthened to avoid parties built around strong personalities crumbling when those parties lose power.

“How do you ensure that members do not desert a party when it is not in power?” he said adding, “And how do you articulate government programmes or positions and remain relevant in your own party (that is in the Opposition)?”

Sentell Barnes, Resident Country Director of International Republican Institute, recommended that MPs must always be involved in the decision making of their parties and that parties should allow their legislators to side with their voters in cases where they disagree with the party position.

 

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