The MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged his colleagues to resume Parliamentary sitting with a renewed mind and attitude devoid of violence and physical obstruction of proceedings.
In 2021, the 8th Parliament recorded the most scuffle in the history of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. Parliament started and ended the year with violence.
The tension hovered around who obtained the majority seats, the election of Speaker, approval of the 2022 budget and the electronic transaction levy.
According to Mr Oppong Nkrumah, the current legislators “are guilty of damaging the country’s image and democratic record” due to their unacceptable behaviour.
But he believes that as Parliament resumes sitting, “we (MPs) have a chance to recover” the country’s integrity.
In a tweet, the Ofoase-Ayirebi MP noted that it is his prayer that Parliament doesn’t record any form of violence from its members.
My prayer as parliament resumes. pic.twitter.com/rDKauI0vui— Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (@konkrumah) January 25, 2022
To ensure Parliament sets on the right path, Mr Kojo Oppong, who is also the Information Minister advised that violence should not be an alternative to address opposing views in the house.
In a statement sighted by MyJoyOnline.com, the MP noted that the outbreak of fisticuffs may not necessarily be caused by the controversial E-levy but rather “a belief that it is okay to stop parliamentary business from proceeding.”
“For me, the developments in Parliament are not even about the E-levy per se. They are about a new culture brewing in the Legislature which must be condemned by all and quickly address.”
“This new culture if not checked will spell doom for our democracy and our body politic. If not checked, this culture will characterize all other business in future Parliaments. That once members disagree on a matter, violence and obstruction is the way out,” he added.
He continued: “Violence and misconduct in the Chamber among the political class, have dire consequences on our national fortunes.
First, it sends a dangerous signal to the populace. Not only does it say we are actually not as matured a democracy as we claim to be, but it actually encourages all levels of our society that violence is the best way to settle disagreements.”
Meanwhile, as part of measures to ensure a free-violent House, Mr Kojo Oppong says the Majority Group will re-engage the Minority Group on matters both parties do not see eye to eye.
He says this is imperative as Members of Parliament have a responsibility to be civil.
“As has been announced, we in the Majority will re-engage our colleagues in the Minority and seek to reach consensus on matters we may have disagreement on. It is our expectation that both sides of the house will approach these matters in good faith and in accordance with the laid down rules and conventions of Parliament.
We have a responsibility to be civil, or we bring down this democracy by our own unruly behavior,” he concluded.
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