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General News of Saturday, 14 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Speaker not selling land, ignore ‘baseless’ claims – Parliament

Parliament has described as baseless, media reports suggesting that the Speaker of the House intend to sell parliamentary land to a hotelier.

A statement signed by the Acting Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Kate Addo categorically stated that Parliament had not disposed of any property and would do what is in the best interest of the country.

“The attention of Parliament has been drawn to a publication in the Herald newspaper on Friday, 13th of July, 2018 alleging that the Speaker of Parliament is seeking to sell Parliament land for a hotel. The fact that the front page story placed its caption in the form of a question showed they were not certain of their facts and were putting out the publication to deceive. Why did they not come to verify in Parliament at all?

“The office of Parliament will like to correct the erroneous and baseless impressions created in the publication. No land belonging to Parliament will be sold. The Speaker alone cannot take any decision whatsoever regarding Parliament’s property without the Parliamentary Service Board. Parliament has not disposed of any property and is still considering how best to employ public/ private partnership for the interest of Parliament.”

The statement further said Parliament rather intends to put up a parliamentary hotel through a public-private partnership to cut down the costs the house incurs due to hotel accommodation and conferences.

“The said proposal to construct a parliamentary hotel is to cut down on the amount of money Parliament spends on hotel accommodation for MPs and other officials. Several countries, including neighbouring Cote d’lvoire, South Africa, Canada etc have such a facility. There will be conference rooms etc in such cases.”

It pointed out that the Speaker is “tirelessly working to retrieve all lands belonging to Parliament.”

The Herald newspaper had claimed that Parliament under the directions of the Speaker Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, is “trading a parcel of a juicy land with a London-based private hotelier, Quant International Property Group to construct a 250-guest room hotel facility and be paying the legislature some money.”

The paper further alleged in its Friday, July 13 issue, that the deal would be completed through sole sourcing