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General News of Monday, 29 May 2017

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Parliament to hold media encounters to help bring the House closer to the people


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Parliament’s Acting Director of Public Affairs, Kate Addo has hinted of a series of programmes to be instituted by parliament to bridge the gap between the House and its constituents.

The move is geared towards making citizens appreciate and understand how parliament works, its processes and also give further insights into what happens in the House.

Kate Addo noted that this will not only clear some misconceptions about the House of representatives but it will also restore the bruised image of the House.

“We are expecting that we will have media encounters with the media practitioners that report from here and their editors and these will focus on bringing parliament closer to the people, explaining issues of parliament to the people, and try to let the citizens have a better understanding of how parliament works and to have a better appreciation on the difficulties, challenges and responsibilities that the parliament of Ghana faces on a daily basis” she explained

She expressed optimism that these initiatives will restore the image of parliament and create a good impression in the minds of the citizenry.
Parliament has for the past few months witnessed a dip in their image with several allegations and bad news rocking the House.

These include the Mahama Ayariga alleged committee bribery scandal, in which the Bawku Central MP accused some members of the Appointments Committee, of which he is a member, of taking bribe from Energy Minister designate, Boakye Agyarko.

Another event that negatively affected parliament was the issue of “Visa fraud” allegedly perpetrated by some MPs using their diplomatic passports.
These allegations were contained in a leaked letter to the media written by the British High Commissioner, Jon Benjamin to the speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Mike Oquaye.

Many people haven’t been satisfied with the manner in which these issues have been dealt with and have formed ill impressions about the legislative institution of the State.

Speaking to www.ghanaweb.com the Acting Public Affairs Director also insisted that parliament is in important to sustaining the democracy of the country therefore all it is important to keep its dignity intact.

She revealed that, parliament will embark on a series of town hall meetings, and open forums aside the media encounter.

She also detailed that parliament will be made extremely active on social media platforms to make it more convenient for people to share their thoughts and grievances and also learn more about the institution.

“We are hoping that we will be able to activate our twitter and facebook accounts so that people can interact with us online, our website is active on www.parliament.gh and available for anybody to talk to us while we wait to activate our social media accounts. Our aim is to get the people to appreciate the good things that Ghana’s parliament does and that’s why we are feeling that a little more interaction with the people will help.”

“It’s also to build our image but more importantly it is to engage with the people and to find out what their real concerns and issues are”

Parliament will reconvene on Tuesday May 30th almost two months Easter break.

They are expected to tackle issues regarding the nomination of Justice Sophia Akuffo as next Chief Justice and also the laws and regulation that will give life to the role of Special Prosecutor.

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