Story by Lilian Owusu-Mensah
Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs in Ghana, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, has revealed that his election to the position of Vice Chair of the Commonwealth Parliament Association was powerfully championed by the minority leader in parliament, Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
According to him, Haruna Iddrisu who is also the Minority Leader in parliament played an important role in his election.
“Well, it was quite a surprise, and I was elated at the recognition given to me. As it’s said, a prophet is not recognised in his own backyard, but the good thing is that this whole thing came about when the African Region of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association met in Nairobi. I was nominated by the Speaker of Kenya, the Rt. Hon. Justin Muturi, and supported effectively by other speakers in the African Region, including, in particular, South Africa, Malawi, and Sierra Leone.
So for a year, I was made the acting Vice Chair of the CPA when, unfortunately, the Chairperson transitioned and the Vice Chair then assumed the position of acting Chairperson, and then we needed an acting Vice Chair, and that is how I got elected as the acting Vice Chair. At the time, I must say, rather importantly and significantly, the minority leader, the Hon. Haruna Iddrisu was one of my key campaign managers, so he rooted for me and I got elected.
His comment comes after his election as Vice Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA). at the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in August 2022.
Speaking on the vice chairmanship position, he said it came to him as a shock, though with some euphoria. He expressed that he was grateful to God and his colleagues at the CPA for the election because he believed his contributions and interventions to help improve governance at the international level had been recognised.
“In Canada, I then got elected as a substantive Vice Chair. So that’s how it happened. Again, nominated this time by the Speaker of Malawi and seconded by the Speaker of Sierra Leone, Dr Abass Bundu, and the rest of them bought into it. Somebody had tried to contest me from the Caribbean region, but I think that given the ovation that was given to me when my name was mentioned, he dropped out and so I’m thankful to God for the election and I think that my colleagues in the CPA recognised the little contribution that I’ve been making to improve governance at the international level.”
The MP for Suame revealed this on GTV’s Breakfast Show in an exclusive interview with Thelma Tackie on Thursday 28th September 2022.
Expressing his view about the future of the CPA and the demise of the Queen, the Minister stated that the Queen was a paradox.
In his explanation, he said: “Not too long after the queen has assumed the mantle as the head of the commonwealth, the queen of the UK, including the associated countries like Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest, they still recognised the queen as head of state. But we should be mindful of the fact that it was during her tenure that many of the commonwealth countries, at the time colonies, gained their independence. But through her astuteness, she was still able to wield and weld us together under the umbrella of the commonwealth of nations. Today, it’s significant to observe that there are some francophone countries that are banging on the doors of the commonwealth to be given the opportunity to join. When we went to Canada, it may surprise you that Togo was there. They have applied to be full members of the Commonwealth of Nations and were admitted. Gabon was there. But before then, it had been Rwanda and Mozambique. Next year, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference will be held in Ghana in September, and I’m reliably informed that there are two other West African countries, francophone countries, who intend to join the fraternity of the Commonwealth Arbitrary Association. I think it offers some security. In terms of expanding the frontiers of democratic governance the commonwealth is second to none.”
The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is an organisation that works to support good governance, democracy, and human rights.
It currently has about 180 branches in nine administrative regions: Africa, Asia, Australia, British islands and Mediterranean ,Canada, Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic, India ,pacific, and South East Asia.
The headquarters secretariat is based in London.