By Iddi Yire/Jessica Dele Akakpo, GNA
Accra, June 11, GNA – A research conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has revealed that 52.3 per cent of Ghanaians are dissatisfied with the performance of their Members of Parliament (MPs).
Of the 27,500 respondents selected from all the 275 constituencies, who were asked to rate the performance of their MPs so far on the scale of excellent-very bad, 45.7 per cent expressed their satisfaction.
In the regional assessment, four regions were satisfied with the performance of their MPs: Volta 69.9 per cent, Western North 61 per cent, Bono East 51.7 per cent and Ahafo 51 per cent.
The 12 others were dissatisfied: Savannah 50.7 per cent, Oti 50.7 per cent, Bono 52.1 per cent, Upper West 52.4 per cent, Upper East 52.8 per cent, Central 55.3 per cent, Northern 55.3 per cent.
The Western Region recorded, 56.2 per cent, Ashanti 57.2 per cent, Greater Accra 61.7 per cent, eastern 61.4 per cent, North East 69.5 per cent.
The opinion poll 2019 dubbed “Assessment of the 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) – Perspective from the Constituents” was carried out from March to June, 2019 with funding from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.
Finding of the study was jointly presented on Monday in Accra by Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah and Mr Kaakyire Frempong, both Senior Lecturers of the Political of the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said the study adopted Mixed Method Methodology that was the use of qualitative and quantitative through concurrent and transformative approaches.
He said five electoral areas were selected from each constituency with the exception of Ayawaso North and Ayawaso East, which had three and four electoral areas each.
He noted that the HAT Method was used to randomly select the five electoral areas per constituency and the method was used to select all the 1, 375 electoral areas for all the 275 constituencies.
Dr Owusu-Mensah said interviews were conducted at the appropriate electoral areas and constituencies to solicit key information to validate the quantitative data.
He said in each electoral area, 20 respondents were interviewed; therefore, with five electoral areas per constituency and were engaged.
With regards to the question of “if elections were held today, will you vote?”, Frempong said generally, poor performance on the part of the elected induces apathy in the electorate.
“It is therefore interesting that in spite of the generally –non-impressive performance of MPs, more than four out of every five respondents said they would vote if elections were held today,” he stated.
The findings of the research showed that nationwide 87.8 per cent would vote, 9.7 per cent declined to vote and 2.5 per cent were undecided.
Mr Frempong said MPs should carefully weigh their campaign promises as their constituents would hold them accountable for those promises.
He said several constituents were concerned about the continued absence of their MPs from their communities; they (the MPs) must therefore improve their levels of interaction and communication with their constituents.
The report recommended that MPs must gauge the mood of their constituents in deciding whether or not to contest again; it is worth noting that in 2016, 50 incumbents lost their primaries and 50 others lost the election.
It said in parliamentary terms, ‘the longer, the better’ but in our context, first term MPs are increasingly becoming endangered species; in 2016 more than half of the 50 incumbents who lost the elections were first term MPs.
It noted that the peculiar challenges confronting the first term MPs must be addressed to prevent a repeat of 2016 in 2020.
“To our 275 honourable MPs, 18 months in politics is a long, long time; for better or for worse, to make or to break,” Mr Frempong said.