The National Interest Movement (NIM), a group of independent political thinkers, has called on Ghanaians to make it a point to elect independent candidates vying for parliamentary seats in the upcoming 2024 general election.
In a statement issued and signed by its founder, Dr Abu Sakara Forster, it explained that individuals who had been elected based on a party’s ticket often promoted the interests of the party at the expense of the national interest, a situation which led to the polarisation of the citizenry.
“Such dominance of partisan interests has also cost the nation its advancement through perpetual changes in direction, abandonment of projects and plans, large sums of judgment debt payments and bred a culture of corruption fuelled by periodic elections that offer no hope,” it stressed.
The NIM also advocated an alliance of independent parliamentary candidates to form a caucus in Parliament after the elections because it would effectively ensure accountability and champion reforms for the restoration of development which was centered on the people and not the dominant political parties’ interests.
The NIM said it believed that this would create representatives not subject to the whim of partisan leaders of the house who demand that they backed everything and anything that their party leadership and executives asked of them.
“We propose that constituencies send their own parliamentarians to Parliament and not let them simply ride on the back of party palanquins, only to serve party interests first.
Such an alliance would empower independent parliamentarians to punch above their numbers and truly represent their constituents,” it explained.
The statement further stated that citizens who wished to see a change in the country should first join hands to demonstrate solid support for the emergence of at least 16 worthy independent parliamentary candidates as the next step for the growth and advancement of the nation’s democracy.
“There are 275 MPs in the house. To begin with, we can set aside one independent Member of Parliament per region to force the evolution of our democracy towards greater independence for greater accountability,” the statement explained.
“Increasing the number of independent candidates that are truly not aligned to the parties will enhance independence of the house, especially if the candidates are supported by major stakeholder groups of civil society like workers unions, traders and religious communities that seek to protect shared values and equity,” it explained further.
The NIM said it believed that successfully rallying a caucus of independent parliamentary candidates could lead to a realistic pursuit of the presidency as a final step to bring real change, true democracy and sustainable national development.
The NIM, therefore, called on civil society and all stakeholders to join hands to support the emergence of an Alliance of independent parliamentary candidates by identifying and supporting self-made men of integrity to win parliamentary seats.
“A pact will be signed with the candidates to assure the public that all elected candidates will refuse the temptation of appointments to ministerial positions and boards of state enterprises in order to ensure that they wholly serve the people faithfully and fearlessly in Parliament,” it said.