- The Majority leader has given several reasons why the new chamber is necessary
- He believes the old chamber could expose the members to terror threats
Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, has pointed out security threats to the president and members of parliament as one of the reasons a new parliament chamber is needed for the legislative arm of government.
The announcement of the possible construction of a new chamber with the capacity to host 450 persons at a time has been widely condemned and rejected by Ghanaians.
However, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has given several reasons to justify the construction of the new chamber at a colossal amount of not less than $150 million.
Among the reasons given include the 'unfit for purpose' nature of the current chamber, the exposure of columns in the chamber that blocks some MPs from being seen by the Speaker during debates and the narrow nature of the walkways.
“Under normal circumstance, we should swear in a new President in Parliament like we did for former President Kufuor. But with the current chamber, anything can happen especially in this era of terrorist threats. You can imagine [God forbid] if anyone aims and shoots at the President. You can imagine what we will find ourselves in,” he said.
It has also emerged that security for visiting presidents and the Speaker are among the many justifications.
According to Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the new Parliamentary chamber would be used on occasions of swearing-in of a new president instead of the usual Black Star Square.
He, however, expressed concerns that the current chamber is not secure enough for such an occasion.
In other news, Ghanaians have taken to social media to dare their legislators on proposals to build a new parliamentary chamber at an expected cost of $200 million, using the hashtag #DropThat Chamber.
#DropThatChamber is trending on Twitter and Facebook because Ghanaian parliamentarians are planning to build for themselves, a new 450-seater chamber that the house's majority leader says will not cost more than $200 million or a little over GHC 1 billion.
Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu, the New Patriotic Party (MP) for Suame, who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and majority leader, has gone media house hopping since the beginning of July, 2019 to sell the idea of the chamber.
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