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Politics of Friday, 31 July 2015

Source: GNA

Parliament urged to concentrate more on national issues

Citizen Ghana Movement, a non-partisan network, on Thursday urged Members of Parliament to concentrate more on national issues, than issues of contempt of the house.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, Ms Kathleen Addy, a member of the Movement, said Ghana is confronted with many challenges including that of electricity, water, roads, and other basic infrastructure, which needed urgent attention.

She said it would, therefore, be a misplaced priority for Parliament to ignore those critical issues of national importance and be concentrating on comments made by some members of the public and which is deemed to be contemptuous.

“Currently, the Ghana Medical Association has declared a strike; there is erratic power and water supply as well as the absence of basic social amenities and it is imperative that Parliament move to find lasting solution to these problems, rather than using precious time to chase people deemed to have made contemptuous statements,” she said.

She denied that the Movement is encouraging people to insult Parliament, saying that, it rather wanted to see the august house concentrating more on issues of national development and providing lasting solution to the various challenges.

Mrs Addy also called for the amendment of the constitution to remove the Parliamentary Contempt Provision, as well as those in the Parliament Act, adding that, those provisions no matter the interpretation placed on them, unless removed, are highly susceptible to abuse.

“It is very disturbing now to see a gradual attempt by Parliament to re-introduce fear in the body politic of this country that would cower the citizenry into silence on national interest. The rationale behind the repeal of the criminal libel law is equally good to warrant an amendment of the constitution to remove the parliamentary provision in the constitution (Article 22) as well as those in the Parliament Act 1965 (Act 300),” she said.

She encouraged the public to place premium on the freedom of thought, speech and expression to resist any oppression and conduct designed ostensibly to curtail democratic freedom.

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