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‘We can’t go on rejecting experienced MPs like this!’ – Majority Leader

The majority leader in parliament Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says parliamentary work will be affected by the loss of experienced parliamentarians in the just-ended New Patriotic Party parliamentary primary.

He stated that it takes years to build an experienced parliamentarian and for such people, including Ben Abdallah and Mike Assibey Yeboah to lose their primaries is a bad example for the country’s governance.

Ben Abdallah Banda, who is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee, lost his bid to retain the Offinso South seat for the New Patriotic Party.

Also, Dr. Assibey-Yeboah who is the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament and has been instrumental in his role lost his re-election bid in New Juaben South in the Eastern Region; shocking many people including the party General Secretary John Boadu.

“We can’t go on like this,” Mr. Mensah-Bonsu told TV3 Ashanti Regional correspondent William Evans-Nkum Monday.

In his view, experienced members of parliament are required to help in transacting parliamentary business.

“Building the capacity of a Member of Parliament is not a four-year matter; it is not even an eight-year matter. The axiom is that in parliament, the longer a person stays the better he becomes,” he argued.

When that is done, he said it positively affect governance.

Asked why the NPP did not protect such experienced parliamentarians considering their impact in parliament, the Suame MP said the constitution of the party made that impossible and that it will only take dialogue for such issues to be resolved.

“For now there are constitutional issues to contend with. It provides [after] every four-year tenure the party should provide for the participation of all who desire to be in parliament so in that regard it becomes difficult in the face of the constitutional provisions to prevent people from coming to contest,” he indicated.

Mr. Mensah-Bonsu said it if upon dialogue “the person insists that he wants to be a part of the process of the selection of parliamentary candidates it becomes difficult to really push aside that person”.

The Saturday’s primary in over 100 constituencies saw 40 incumbent MPs losing their seats to newbies.

Among the MPs who lost their candidature is Frederick Opare Ansah, the Chairman of the Communications Committee, Collins Owusu Amankwaah, the Chairman of the Government Assurances Committee, William Quaittoo Agyapong, the Chairman of the Education Committee, and Alex Agyekum, the Chairman of the Youth and Sports Committee.

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