Group to picket today over new parliamentary complex

A group known as the Economic Fighters is expected to picket at Parliament later today, Friday, in protest of the planned construction of a new Parliament complex.

The picketing is a precursor to the planned demonstration on July 13 against the project, according to one of the organisers of the #DropThatChamber Campaign, Rasheeda Adams.

She told Citi News the responses from Parliament to the concerns have so far been unsatisfactory.

“We have not heard anything satisfying enough to say we are not going to continue [with the protests]… we are not backing down if Parliament is not backing down [on plans for the project].”

The civil opposition to the project also accompanies criticism from legislators from both sides of Parliament.

At a press conference on Thursday, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu assured that the interest of the public will be considered in the final determination of the project.

He said the plans for the construction had not been finalised and were set for debate in Parliament.

“The process is not concluded and the financials have not been concluded, procurement has not been concluded. The agreement has not been firmed up because these ones have not been completed. If the agreement is firmed up, it must come to Parliament for approval.”

But there have been contradictory signals from the arms of government on the project.

The President was scheduled to attend the sod cutting of the project in June according to a letter sighted by Citi News.

The letter signed by the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye indicated that the ceremony was to be done in the last week of June 2019, subject to the President’s convenience and confirmation.

The construction of a new parliamentary chamber was expected to begin before the end of 2019.

However, the Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has denied that the Presidency had any involvement in the proposed construction of the parliamentary complex.

A model for the project has also been designed with timelines already set, according to the David Adjaye, who served as architect.

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