The Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Domwini Dabre Kuupole, has urged Parliament to intensify its constituency outreach programmes aimed at creating space for parliamentarians to interface with their constituents on a regular basis.
He said such outreach programmes were critical to the sustenance of the nation’s parliamentary democracy and should, therefore, be replicated at least once a year in all the regions of the country in order to create a better understanding of the legislative institution.
Prof. Kuupole gave this advice when he chaired a joint constituency forum held in Cape Coast to educate the people of Cape Coast North and South constituencies on the role, work and duties of Members of Parliament.
Prof. Kuupole said he was impressed with the level of the cordiality and unity among the Members of Parliament present and advised the supporters of the various political parties to emulate that example as a sure way of ensuring peace in the nation’s body politic.
The first Deputy Speaker and Member of Parliament for Cape Coast North, Hon. Ebo Barton-Odro, who led the Majority team, underscored the importance of such interactions as a means of explaining the exact duties of Members of Parliament and the role of Parliament as a governance institution.
He drew the attention of the gathering to the various checks and balances in the parliamentary system by stating that some committees such as the Public Accounts and Subsidiary Legislation were headed by members of the Minority to ensure accountability. This is meant to ensure that Parliament plays its oversight role on the Executive effectively.
Hon. Joe Ghartey who was the Head of Minority group stressed that the primary responsibility of Parliament was law making, and other key roles included deliberation, representation and oversight of the Executive.
The Second Deputy Speaker also explained the use of the MPs share of the District Assembly Common Fund, saying the funds were not given to Members of Parliament directly, rather what happened was that members identified projects of their choice and directed or instructed the district assemblies to disburse funds on projects of their choice for the benefit of constituents.