Parliament moves to Control how MPs use Mobile Phones in the Chamber

Parliament is currently taking steps to prevent its Members from using mobile phones in the Chamber during plenary. The House intends to strengthen measures to ensure that MPs do not enter the Chamber with their electronic gadgets.

It has been observed that the presence of these electronic gadgets in the House has become a source of distraction to MPs and often preventing them from concentrating on the businesses on the Floor. This is perceived to be affecting their delivery and performance especially during debates and other legislative duties.

The Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Chairman of the Business Committee hinted of the move on the Floor on Thursday when he presented the Explanatory Memoranda on the Business Statement of Parliament for the Seventh Week ending Friday March 13, 2020.

Incensed by media reports about the lackadaisical attitude of some of his colleague MPs towards the business of the House and the seeming lack of interest and concentration by some MPs who are often seen fidgeting with their phones, the Majority Leader indicated that Parliament intends to use the new Standing Orders to control the negative attitude of Members.

“Mr. Speaker, I believe the House must make a determination on this, and let me emphasize that the reason why it is being proposed that in the next Parliament, once we accept and indeed adopt the reviewed Standing Orders, no Member will be allowed to bring cellphones into this Chamber,” he stated.

Addressing concerns of MPs on the Business agenda, the Majority Leader asserted that the leadership of the House would ensure that MPs are prevented from handling their phones in the Chamber.

“Mr. Speaker, we need to demonstrate seriousness in this House. When the President of the Republic is talking, Members are fidgeting with their cellphones; when the Minister responsible for Finance comes here, Members are fidgeting with their cellphones; when questions are asked and Ministers are providing answers, Members are fidgeting with their phones. It doesn’t tell a good story about us.

“Mr. Speaker, let’s be very honest with ourselves. The Parliament of Ghana is not the only Parliament in the world. There are established Parliaments in the world who do not allow Members to come to Parliament with their cellphones. That should be the order of the day. Mr. Speaker, we shall apply this forcefully once we adopt the Standing Orders,” he stated.

The reviewed Standing Orders which is yet to be adopted by Parliament, has been in the pipeline since the Fifth Parliament.

Source: Clement Akoloh || 

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