Ato Forson’s non-legal background won’t affect performance as Minority Leader – Parliament’s leadership

The leadership of both sides in Parliament have rejected the notion that the new Minority Leader, Casiel Ato Forson will not be able to perform because he lacks expertise in law.

Addressing the press corps, Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah- Bonsu and Dr Ato Forson both emphasised that the best leaders Parliament has had so far were mostly non-lawyers.

Dr Forson told the press that “the issue of whether I’m a lawyer and the fact that if you are not a lawyer, you cannot be a Minority Leader, I don’t think that is the case.”

“I mean, the honourable Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is not a lawyer. He was a Minority Leader for eight years and a Majority Leader for six years and counting… he has discharged himself, and everybody knows what he can and cannot do.

“…So, it doesn’t have to be that you should be a lawyer before you perform,” he said.

His counterpart, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu concurred.

The Majority Leader stressed that the performance of the Minority Leader has nothing to do with being a lawyer.

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu continued that the requirements for evaluating leadership are competency and versatility.

He explained that, “If you are a leader, you must know something about everything, because when people have spoken, you must be doing the encapsulation, because if you do not know, you will be found wanting.”

Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu went on to cite some past leaders of Parliament who performed remarkably during their tenure in office, despite not being lawyers.

He further stated that “if you’re talking about leaders that this fourth Republic has seen, certainly, you cannot write off J.H Mensah. I mean he stands very tall. Economist, a finance person and he distinguished himself. Owusu Acheampong, not a lawyer, [he was an] agriculturist, he was a master of the rules of procedure. Kwabena Adjei came in with his own strength.”

“We had three lawyers in succession, Alban, Avoka, and Kumbuor, their strengths are captured in the hansard. Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, not a Lawyer, not an economist, not a finance man, I believe in all humility that I can stand on my ground in every subject matter. That is what is required of a leader.”

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