The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has condemned the chaotic scenes in Parliament on Monday and called on MPs to smoke the peace pipe.
In a statement issued on December 21, the Council indicated that, the events of Monday stained the country’s democratic credentials. The CCG thus called on parliamentarians to resolve the outstanding concerns regarding the 2022 Budget.
“We respectfully remind Parliamentarians that debates in Parliament must remain a platform for the exchange of ideas and not an opportunity for confusion and hostility. Ghanaians voted for you to engage in ‘debate not boxing’.”
“Our country’s lawmakers must show the way to protect and deepen democratic processes in our governance system. Unfortunately, what we saw in Parliament yesterday is a negation of Ghana’s democratic gains over the past thirty years. What happened yesterday on the floor of Parliament is unacceptable to say the least, and we condemn such behaviour.
We therefore urge Parliament, to as a matter of urgency, build consensus to ensure that the nation has a budget to work with in 2022. We also urge the leadership of Parliament to put measures in place to prevent any future incidence of mayhem”, the Council advised.
According to the leadership of the ‘Ecumenical Bodies in Ghana’, proceedings in Parliament must reflect decorum and sanity.
The Christian Council also reiterated its commitment to supporting the legislators with prayers in the discharge of their responsibilities.
“Christian leaders in our country will continue to pray for our legislators for God’s grace and wisdom at all times. We ask for God’s blessings upon Parliament. May God bless our nation Ghana”, the statement concluded.
On Monday, December 20, members from the Minority and Majority Caucuses in Parliament were engaged in fisticuffs during deliberations on the controversial E-levy Bill. In what has been widely condemned by many, the MPs were seen pushing one another in fierce anger and disagreement.
According to JoyNews’ parliamentary correspondent, Kwesi Parker Wilson, the mayhem arose after the 1st Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu indicated his intention to vote on whether the proposed e-levy Bill should be considered under a certificate of urgency or not.
The Minority reportedly resented the idea, leading to minutes of verbal altercations and heckling amongst the MPs. Proceedings were adjourned accordingly.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday morning, the leadership of Parliament apologised for the chaos when the House reconvened to continue with deliberations.
However, proceedings were adjourned. The House agreed to reconvene on January 18, 2022 to resume discussions on the e-levy.
Nonetheless, Parliament has approved the 2022 Appropriation Bill to enable the financing of government business and other related transactions.