Parliament has cautioned citizens who come to witness sittings to be mindful of the rules and regulations governing their conduct while there.
A statement signed by Acting Public Affairs Director, Kate Addo said, while the House is not against the public attendances, it will not countenance any conduct that disrupts proceedings.
“The rule is that any stranger admitted to the public gallery is not allowed to take part in deliberations on the floor of the House. They are not allowed to engage in debates, clap nor take part in the proceedings in any form or shape.
“Standing Order 30 provides that this constitutes a contempt of Parliament Order 30(a) says this includes “disorderly conduct on the part of strangers such as riotous or disorderly action by strangers to hinder or promote the passing of a Bill or other legislative measure or motion or any other matter pending before the House” Order 30 (C) also refers to the flagrant or persistent disobedience of the general rules of the House as being contemptuous of Parliament,” the statement said.
Three protesters against plans to construct a new Parliament, were arrested Wednesday after screaming from the public gallery “drop that chamber” Friday.
The three – Ernesto Kofi Yeboah, Abeiku Adams and a third who is yet to be identified – are all members of pressure group Economic Fighters League.
They started chanting after NPP MP for Asokwa constituency in the Ashanti region, K.T Hammond justified the controversial plan insisting ‘MPs cannot sit under trees’.
KT Hammond made the comment during a discussion in Parliament on the new chamber plans.
His comment stirred the protesters seated in the public gallery who then began chanting “drop that chamber”.
Security personnel then moved in to remove them. They have been detained at the Parliament Police Station.
But Parliament says it is not seeking to lock horns with the general public on any matter.
“What the House seeks to do is to positively engage citizens in fruitful discussions that will inure to the benefit of the country and Parliament and the citizens in particular.
“The Office would like to appeal to the general public to be cooperative in ensuring that the security of members, staff and visitors to parliament are not put in jeopardy by their actions or inactions. The office would also like to appeal to all to desist from making the institution look antagonistic in the eyes of reasonable people,” the statement added.
Below is a copy of the full statement: