PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO ALL PRESS HOUSES
- On August 1, 2019, the Youth Bridge Research Institute (YBRI) held a press conference on the theme: “YOUTH REPRESENTATION AND PARTICIPATION IN UPCOMING PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES OF POLITICAL PARTIES.
- At the said press conference, we explained the indubitable importance of getting many qualified young people elected to parliament. We called on political parties to create the space and encourage young people to contest the upcoming Parliamentary Primaries by removing all visible and invisible obstacles that could frustrate the youth and put in place mentorship interventions that allow experience party leaders and past parliamentarians to mentor and build the confidence of the young parliamentary hopefuls.
- We highlighted key obstacles to youth participation in parliamentary primaries of political parties including the high cost of filing fees; high cost of campaigning; and asking the youth to bid their time. 4. The YBRI through this release commends the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for taking steps to heed to our call by halving the filing fees for its young parliamentary aspirants.
- We urge all political parties to emulate this gesture and other allied interventions that could help increase the number of young people in parliament.
- We reiterate our call for young people who are much educated, competent and accepted in their constituencies, to seize the opportunity to contest the upcoming Parliamentary Primaries. We call on them to move beyond just serving as foot-soldiers, voting machines and agents merely used to foment violent electoral conflicts and fighting dirty political wars of politicians.
- We repeat our earlier call on older people who have had a fair taste of representing their constituents to give way to young people to also serve their constituents. We are of the firm belief and conviction that, serving the constituency can be enriched when those who have done it for several years give way to fresh blood and operate behind the scenes as counsellors and advisors.
- We believe that enhancing youth representation and participation in parliament should be a matter of national interest and a concern to all in our quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 10
- We are therefore committed to our earlier resolve to put in place concrete and proactive measures aimed at supporting the realization of our call in an attempt to help reverse the current trend, where old age is the unstated qualification for substantive representation and participation in politics and governance.
- We fully agree with Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations that “…a society that cuts itself off from its youth, severs its lifeline; it is condemned to bleed to death…”
Prof Ransford Gyampo
DATED: 27th September 2019