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General News of Monday, 8 July 2019

Source: abcnewsgh.com

'Dropthatchamber’ Protestors could be jailed for contempt of Parliament – Kweku Baako


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Editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako has condemned actions perpetrated by members of the Economic fighters league in Parliament on Friday over the building of a new parliamentary complex.

According to him, attempts made by people to defend, rationalize or justify acts by the protestors are uncalled for and should be condemned.

“I’ve heard people justify, defending and rationalizing it, including even some members of parliament and I was surprised that members of parliament will rationalize and justify that.

That conduct flies in the face of the parliament act 1965, the standing orders of parliament and the constitution of Ghana” he noted.

Mr. Baako was speaking on Newsfile on Saturday.

In his presentation, the veteran journalist said these acts of lawlessness should not be encouraged even though the country is in a democratic dispensation.

“See, we’re not in the military government where our rights are curtailed so we’re enabled to use all means, sometimes even unorthodox means to deal with situations. This is a democracy, with all its limitations and challenges. We fought and brought into being the public order act, people went to court. The constitution guaranteed it but we had to operationalize it.

If you remember, it was the NPP verses the IGP to open up the space, even now we still have difficulties with the way the police conduct themselves. We are widening the democratic space through agitation, advocacy and some level of crusading. That’s what we are doing, we do not have the luxury of an alternative. We should not encourage people to use unorthodox or illegal means, go read the parliament act” he stated.

According to the the editor of the weekly newspaper, although he won’t go for the trial of the protestors, we should drive the point that the laws of the house must be followed adding that if Ghanaians have issues with parliamentarians, or want to register their displeasure about certain decisions made from the house, they could do so through petitions or demostration and not go against the rules of the house.

“You have been given the option, you can vote them out, you demonstrate against them, you send petitions to Parliament, Parliament takes petitions. That public gallery, there are rules against strangers.

In the act, they have a definition of who is a stranger and it clearly is contempt of parliament, you could have been jailed or you can be banned from entering parliament for about 10months.

I won’t go for them to be tried but am just telling people that this is the law… we shouldn’t encourage that otherwise let’s amend all these laws, amend the parliament act 65, amend the standing orders and amend the constitution, and tell people that we can go to the parliament house as if it’s a stadium and do take part in the debate. Let’s stop it before it’s too late.

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