Plans are far advanced for Ghana’s Parliament to start virtual parliamentary sittings to allow Members of Parliament to perform their parliamentary duties when they are outside the Chamber or in their constituencies.
This has become very necessary as Parliament implement social distancing protocols as part of its measures to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This initiative also comes as a welcome news at a time when Ghana goes into Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December and Members of Parliament will be torn between political campaigns and performing their parliamentary responsibilities.
This was disclosed during a webinar organized by the Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), in partnership with the Public Affairs Department of the Parliament of Ghana, in commemoration of the International Day of Parliamentarism (World Parliament Day) on June 30.
The webinar was on the theme, “The Role of Parliament in an Era of Pandemic” to highlight the significant contributions of Ghana’s Parliament in the COVID-19 battle.
Parliaments have a critical role to play as the world addresses the health and socioeconomic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webinar addressed by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon Joseph Osei-Owusu, took a closer look at how Ghana’s Parliaments is adapting their practices in accordance with physical distancing guidelines presented by government.
The webinar discussed and explored the possibilities and challenges of hosting virtual parliamentary sittings or committee meetings, the difficulties Parliaments are facing in this COVID-19 crisis and how they are adapting to the new context while continuing to strengthen parliamentary openness. It further discussed the importance of ensuring that parliament continue to promote transparency and access to information, accountability, participation and high ethical standards as it adapts.
The webinar is the first of PNAfrica’s Parliamentary Dialogue Series, a thought-leadership speaker series aimed at giving citizens an insight into the legislative agenda before parliament; the work of the various committees of Parliament, and how they will affect the livelihood and socioeconomic development of the people going forward. It will give participants the opportunity to interrogate and engage with the leadership of Parliament, including the various committee leadership on the legislative agenda, in order to propose innovative and collaborative ways to complete a good volume of the work of Parliament before their tenure ends.
The next webinar schedule for next week will feature the Majority Leader, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, and the Minority Leader, Hon Haruna Iddrisu.
Source: GILBERT BORKETEY BOYEFIO || PNAfrica