A stakeholderï¿½s forum on the responsibilities of Members of Parliament (MPs) and their relationships with their constituents was on Tuesday held in Cape Coast with a call for the gap between MPs and their constituents to be bridged to ensure effective governance.
It was organized by Coastal Television, a community television station in Cape Coast, with support from STAR Ghana and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE).
Participants were drawn from Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, Komenda Edina Eguafo Abrem Municipal Assembly, market women associations, traditional councils, the media and a cross section of the public.
Also launched was a short drama titled ï¿½The Parliamentarianï¿½ which depicted some of the issues that arise as a result of the disconnection between MPs and their constituents.
The Deputy Central Regional Director of NCCE, Mr. Alex Sackey, said most electorates and even some MPs were not fully aware of the duties of MPs, thus the frequent visits of electorates to MPsï¿½s offices for their personal needs instead of holding them responsible for the collective needs of the constituency.
He blamed this habit on promises made by most of these MPs on campaign platforms prior to general elections and therefore urged them refrain from making empty promises to deceive the public.
Mr. Sackey said over-politicization of issues had made it difficult for electorates to hold their MPs accountable and urged the electorate to vote for their MPs on merit instead of promises since most politicians played on the ignorance of electorates.
A lecturer at the Institute of Development Studies of the University of Cape Coast, Dr. Osei Kuffour, said there was disconnection between electorate and their MPs which was not helping the smooth implementation of democracy in the country.
He said the duties of the MP included legislation, executive oversight, constituency representation and services as well as interaction with all members of their constituency irrespective of their political affiliation.
Mr. Selete Nyomi, the Founding President of Coastal Television, said the forum was necessitated by the fact that electorates were unaware of the duties of their MPs and therefore cannot hold them accountable.
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