Parliament Beats Retreat


450 Chamber Is To Accommodate Dignitaries Not MPs – Majority Leader

By Patrick Biddah

Parliament seems to have beaten a retreat on its announcement of the 450 seater chamber, which came to the fore last Thursday.

Again, Parliament has played down the $200 million cost of construction making the rounds, saying the cost of the construction is not known, except that the building of the new Chamber is just an intent.

Speaking to Journalists at a media encounter in Parliament yesterday, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, explained  that the proposed 450 Chamber is not indicative of plans to create new constituencies.

According to the Majority Leader who is also a member of the Parliamentary Service Board, the announcement made last week was not properly communicated and that the 450 seater chamber is to help create space for dignitaries who normally grace  the August House during important national ceremony.

For example, he said visitors such as former Heads of State and foreign dignitaries, who are invited to the House during the delivering of State of The Nation Addresses and the swearing in of new Speakers are not supposed to sit in the public gallery.

The new 450 seater chamber, he  therefore, explained was to  to create space for accommodating these group of high profilepersonalities and dignitaries .

Aside noting that the new proposed 450 chamber is not to create new seats for MPs, he expressed his   opinion as to whether there should be the creation of new constituencies.

In his answer, he said he does not think there would be the creation of new seats. Instead, there should be a capping for the number of constituencies .

His explanation was that the idea of creating new constituencies is not sustainable, suggesting that the capping should be the current 275, if not 300 .

There was a huge public outcry when the announcement for the building of a 450 seater chamber came up with some of the Members of Parliament (MP) speaking vociferously against the announcement.

The general public, also took up the matter by expressing their opposition to the idea with social media becoming the platform where they vented their anger by coining a hash tag which was drop that chamber .

Speaking in that regard, the Majority Leader noted that there was the need to take the sensibility of Ghanaians on board by holding the press conference to clarify the issues.

“No agreement has been firmed up and resources not made available because it is just a consideration .The sensibility of the people must be taken on board “, he stressed.




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