A cross-section of Ghanaians are angry at a proposal by the parliament to build a new chamber at an estimated cost of $200 million.
The planned project brought forward by the Parliamentary Service Board will expand the seating capacity of the facility to 450 seats. The parliament currently has 275 members.
The leadership of parliament has been struggling to contain the outrage amid a trending social media hashtag #DropThatChamber and calls for a “2 million march” next week.
The process is still unfolding, ultimately it is parliament that will make the final decision. I cannot on my own say that parliament is going to shelve it. I don't supplant parliament by my own feelings.
The Majority Leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu justified the planned project saying it was: “necessary due to inadequate space in the chamber, near exchange of fisticuffs, security threat among others”.
But at a press conference today to respond to the developments, the Minister described the process as unfolding and that the leadership will take into consideration the sensibilities of Ghanaians.
“The process is still unfolding, ultimately it is parliament that will make the final decision. I cannot on my own say that parliament is going to shelve it. I don’t supplant parliament by my own feelings.
“Ultimately whatever decision that parliament will make will take into consideration the sensibilities of Ghanaians,” he added.
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.