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Ghana : Parliament drops $200m chamber idea citing public opposition

Ghana-parliament

Ghana’s parliament has dropped a planned project aimed at building a new chamber after public outrage over the matter throughout last week.

A statement confirming the move read in part: “The Board (Parliamentary Service), has, upon reviewing representations made to it by well-meaning Ghanaian”S, accordingly taken the development of the new Chamber block out of its present agenda.”

A cross-section of Ghanaians expressed anger on local media outlets and social media at the proposal of the chamber at an estimated cost of $200 million.

It was among others, meant to expand the seating capacity of the facility to 350 seats. The parliament currently has 275 members.

The leadership of parliament had struggled to contain the outrage amid a trending social media hashtag #DropThatChamber and calls for a “2 million march,” which march has since been suspended.

“The development of the the parliamentary enclave and a new Chamber block and offices shall however, remain an essential and integral part of future plans of the Legislature, in a bid to provide a strong, accountable, responsive and transparent parliament to serve the purpose of Parliament,” the statement added.

The Majority Leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is on record to have justified the project saying it was: “necessary due to inadequate space in the chamber, near exchange of fisticuffs, security threat among others”.

People across social media platforms – Facebook and Twitter – are demanding answers from the MPs on why the chamber is a priority in the face of daunting development challenges.

The parliament is Ghana’s second arm of government. It is led by the Speaker who is the third most powerful man in government. He is sworn in as president in the absence of the substantive and his vice.

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