New parliamentary chamber plan dropped after backlash
Parliament has put on hold its decision to construct a 450-seater parliamentary chamber, following intense pressure from Ghanaians.
Acting Director of Public Affairs in Parliament, Kate Addo who confirmed the decision said the parliamentary board will give more details on the move later.
“Parliament is aware of the concerns in the public space. Parliament represents the people and therefore has to be mindful of the people’s concerns. And so because of that, everything is on hold. The board will meet today and they will come out with a decision on the matter but we expect that the decision will be that everything will be on hold until further notice.”
The decision to construct the chamber complex has been widely criticized by Ghanaians.
Some groups had threatened to stage a protest against the planned construction of the chamber.
The civil opposition to the project also accompanied criticism from legislators from both sides of Parliament.
At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu assured that the interest of the public will be considered in the final determination of the project.
He said the plans for the construction had not been finalised and were set for debate in Parliament.
“The process is not concluded and the financials have not been concluded, procurement has not been concluded. The agreement has not been firmed up because these ones have not been completed. If the agreement is firmed up, it must come to Parliament for approval.”
But there have been contradictory signals from the arms of government on the project.
The President was scheduled to attend the sod cutting of the project in June according to a letter sighted by Citi News.
The letter signed by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye indicated that the ceremony was to be done in the last week of June 2019, subject to the President’s convenience and confirmation.
The construction of a new parliamentary chamber complex was expected to begin before the end of 2019.
However, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has denied that the Presidency had any involvement in the proposed construction of the complex.
A model for the project has also been designed with timelines already set, according to the David Adjaye, who served as architect.