Parliament cautions citizens in public gallery against disruption of proceedings

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The Parliament of Ghana has cautioned citizens who are admitted to the public gallery to be mindful of the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the public in the gallery.

A statement issued and signed by the Acting Director of Public Affairs of Parliament, Kate Addio, on Sunday, July 7, 2019, said people who are admitted at the public gallery are not allowed to engage in debates, clap nor take part in the proceedings in any form or shape.

Part of the statement said: “The rule is that any stranger admitted to the public gallery is not allowed to take part in deliberations on the floor of the House. They are not allowed to engage in debates, clap nor take part in the proceedings in any form or shape. Standing Order 30 provides that this constitutes a contempt of Parliament Order 30(a) says this includes “disorderly conduct on the part of strangers such as riotous or disorderly action by strangers to hinder or promote the passing of a Bill or other legislative measure or motion or any other matter pending before the House” Order 30 (C) also refers to the flagrant or persistent disobedience of the general rules of the House as being contemptuous of Parliament.”

Background

The leader of the Economic Fighters League, Ernesto Yeboah and one other person were on Friday morning arrested at Parliament House for protesting against the proposed 450-seater new chamber for Parliament.

They were protesting in the public gallery during proceedings.

Below is the full statement

Parliament will like to remind citizens who come to the public gallery to be mindful of the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the public in the gallery. Parliament refers to an incident on Friday 05/07/2019 where two gentlemen sought to disrupt proceedings on the floor of the House during a deliberation by Members on the proposed new chamber and the national conversation it has generated with loud shouts of “Drop that Chamber”.

The two gentlemen, Ernesto Yeboah, commander in chief of the Economic fighters’ league and Abeku Adam had come to Parliament ostensibly to observe proceedings. The two went through security checks and were admitted to the Chamber as is the culture of the House.

The events that followed, which led to the two having to be removed from the Chamber and handed over to the police are rather unfortunate and is a breach of the rules governing the conduct of visitors to the House.

The rule is that any stranger admitted to the public gallery is not allowed to take part in deliberations on the floor of the House. They are not allowed to engage in debates, clap nor take part in the proceedings in any form or shape. Standing Order 30 provides that this constitutes a contempt of Parliament Order 30(a) says this includes “disorderly conduct on the part of strangers such as riotous or disorderly action by strangers to hinder or promote the passing of a Bill or other legislative measure or motion or any other matter pending before the House” Order 30 (C) also refers to the flagrant or persistent disobedience of the general rules of the House as being contemptuous of Parliament.

Parliament is not seeking to lock horns with the general public on any matter What the House seeks to do is to positively engage citizens in fruitful discussions that will inure to the benefit of (he country and Parliament and the citizens in particular.

The Office would like to appeal to the general public to be cooperative in ensuring that the security of members, staff and visitors to parliament are not put in jeopardy by their actions or inactions.

The office would also like to appeal to all to desist from making the institution look antagonistic in the eyes of reasonable people Parliament will like to put on record that it is a House of representation and so will continue to welcome citizens to the House.

However, the Office would like to urge citizens to be considerate of other users of the public gallery and the Chamber and not do anything that will put their safety in jeopardy The Office will also like to assure citizens of our continued effort to make Parliament safe for all.

source: graphic.com.gh

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