Members of Parliament will soon be banned from using mobile phones during proceedings in the house.
This was announced by the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Suame MP, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu.
“No member will be allowed to bring cell phones into this chamber. We need to demonstrate seriousness. When President of the republic is talking, members are seriously using their phones. When a minister is talking, members are seriously fidgeting their phones”
“Mr. Speaker, parliament 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 cell phones. Mr. Speaker, we should apply this religiously once we pass those standing orders,” he said on the floor.
Delivering the business of the house, the Suame MP who is the Majority Leader said the move is to avoid distractions.
He stated that this new directive was contained in the soon-to-be approved orders of the house.
Starr News’ parliamentary correspondent, Ibrahim Alhassan reported that the move was triggered after Minority MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who asked a question during the presentation of the business statement.
“Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa asked a question and when Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu was ready to answer the question, according to him, Mr. Okudzeto was fidgeting with his phone.”
“So he drew his attention to the fact that he’s ready to answer his question and went ahead to announce that in future, such a practice will be unlawful,” he explained.
The announcement did not go down well with some MPs who were present in the chamber.
Some Members of Parliament have been accused of walking out of the chamber to answer phone calls.
The Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Ocquaye, recently threatened to revoke the license of journalists who cover press conferences in parliament when proceedings are ongoing.
He said it is “forbidden” for journalists who have been accredited to report on plenary sessions to “abandon” the house to conduct interviews.