We’ll shelve new chamber idea if Ghanaians are against it - Parliament
The leadership of Parliament has said it will give up on plans to build a new chamber if Ghanaians are persistent in their opposition to the project.
According to Majority and Minority leaders of the House, they will first make their case on the need for a new chamber and then make Ghanaians draw their conclusions afterwards.
The construction of the new chamber is expected to begin before the end of 2019.
The Speaker of the House has said Parliament will not tolerate the project it costs beyond $200 million.
Renowned Ghanaian architect, David Frank Adjaye, designed the model and took members of the House through it last Friday.
He told the media that the project will be completed in three years if it begins before the end of the year.
The new chamber will be a multi-purpose building with a chapel, mosque, eatery and a museum.
In a rare appearance on morning TV, the majority leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu and Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu who appeared on GHone TV Wednesday morning defended the need for a new House but noted the House will be sensitive to the views of Ghanaians.
“We will try explain to them why we need this edifice but if after that people are still not in favour, we will then have no choice but to shelve it,” the Majority leader told host Serwaa Amihere.
Reacting to public sentiments on whether the new chamber was a priority, the majority leader said it would not be practical to expect all problems in the country to be fixed before provision is made for an important institution like Parliament. He insisted that the new chamber is not for luxury but meant to offer a more conducive environment for Parliamentary work.
Meanwhile, some members of the House have broken ranks over the project.
“I see a number of schools in my constituency where students are still writing on their bellies and it breaks my heart. I see women who go long distances to carry water that those who are privileged to be in the positions we are in will not even use to wash our cars.” “For us to have the privilege we have today, not to prioritise their problems and to think of the comfort of where we will sit and work, I think is a shame,” Tamale North MP Suhuyini wrote on Facebook.
Mr. Suhyini joins two other Minority MPs; Ras Mubarak and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, to criticise the project.