Parliamentary board in crunch meeting to decide whether to 'drop that chamber'

File photo[/caption] The Parliamentary Service Board (PBS) is locked up in a crunch meeting in Accra to decide whether to drop the proposed construction of a 450-seater new parliamentary chamber that has stoked controversy in the country. “We are expecting that the results will be a hold on activities until such a time when it becomes appropriate, if at all, to continue on the project,” Director of Public Affairs of Parliament Ms Kate Addo told our correspondent Komla Klutse Monday. A design of the proposed building was unveiled two weeks ago and a sod cutting ceremony was scheduled for the last week of June 2019 subject to the President’s convenience. However, news of the proposed construction of the new chamber grabbed headlines last week, triggering criticisms against parliamentarians and the government with some critics questioning the priority of the legislators. A hash tag campaign, #DropThatChamber, was initiated on various social media platforms to push for parliament to ditch the idea that was estimated to cost about 200 million dollars. Some anti-campaigners set Saturday, July 13 go on a protest march. Majority of parliamentarians criticised their leadership for keeping them in the dark on the proposed construction of the new chamber. The leadership claimed a decision had not yet been taken and that new chamber matter was only a proposal by the PBS. On the back of public outcry and backlash, the PBS is meeting to decide whether to proceed with the project or abandon same. “Parliament is not going to do anything in isolation of the views. That’s what we want to emphasised,” Ms Addo said. She explained that because of the issues that have come up, there is the need to listen to the sentiments and the views expressed by the citizens, for which reason “parliament will have to put everything on hold”. The Parliamentary Board Service, she said, is not averse to listening to the public, indicating “parliament is not averse to listening to the public; we don’t want this to be us against them or them against us. This is something that is of national interest”.

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