PARLIAMENT WILL NOT CLOSE DOWN-SPEAKER

The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, has ruled out any possibility of the House being closed down for fear of coronavirus. 

Parliament, he said, is not like any other organisation that could easily be closed down yet function well.

Addressing concerns that persons who have tested positive for coronavirus continue to frequent the House, Professor Oquaye said there would be no country if Parliament did not sit. 

“Very soon, the Minister for Finance is going to read the supplementary budget and if Parliament does not sit, the country will shut down. 

“Government departments can operate in case of emergencies separately and individually. Parliament is Parliament so let us be very careful about how we manage protocols and matters concerning us. 

“As for Parliament, we are in a very very perculiar situation.

“We have to be the last stop otherwise, there is no country so let us cooperate and make sure that anyone who does not have any priority business is sent away,” Speaker Oquaye said.

His comments followed the closure of some state institutions like the Ghana Cocoa Board and the Ministry of Finance as the virus continues to devastate all spheres of the economy.

Speaker Oquaye threatened to take disciplinary action against carriers of the coronavirus who refused to self isolate. 

Professor Oquaye said despite several calls on persons who had tested positive to stay and work electronically from home, they continued frequenting the House. 

“One person actually said that his Honourable Member told him to come. 

“Honourable Members, this is the last warning. If any person engaged on temporary basis by way of research assistance and all those persons who have been asked to stay at home to work electronically is seen within the parameters of Parliament, that person would be disciplined. 

“When that happens, nobody should come and plead for anyone. It will amount to breaking of the rule,” he warned. 

Speaker Oquaye also admonished lawmakers not tolerate any stranger and that doing so would be helping to spread the virus. 

“We are going to be very very rigid because we have a duty to perform,” he stated. 

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