ACEPA urges Parliament to suspend physical sittings completely

The African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA) has called on the leadership of Parliament to find a non-physical alternative to running the business of the House following the detection of 71 COVID-19 infections.

ACEPA, which has already called for the closure of the house, said it would be dangerous for MPs to physically attend sittings.

Fifteen Members of Parliament have tested positive for COVID-19 after a recent round of testing and 56 staff of the parliamentary service have also tested positive for the virus.

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Speaking to Citi News, the Executive Director for ACEPA, Dr. Rashid Draman said Parliament could protect MPs by avoiding physical meetings.

In his view, working remotely is the way forward.

Today, I think we all have learnt that it is possible to conduct business without being in a particular space. Over the last year, many people have conducted business sitting at their desks and their homes and many Parliaments around the world have done that. I don’t see why it is not possible here in Ghana,” Dr. Draman said.

Though Parliament has reduced sittings to twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dr. Draman said: “I think they should go beyond that and employ the benefits of technology we have today.”

ACEPA urges Parliament to suspend physical sittings completely
ACEPA urges Parliament to suspend physical sittings completely

All MPs have laptops. I believe most of them have computers in their homes. Just with the deployment of technology, I think it is possible to conduct the business of the house from their own individual space,” he added.

Parliament has already altered its normal proceedings by conducting its business in a tent situated at the forecourt of the house.

This arrangement is to allow for the observance of social distancing protocols in line with preventing COVID-19.


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