Beginning Monday, February 8, 2021, parliament will no longer allow visitors to enter the public gallery to observe proceedings, the Chairman of Parliament’s Business Committee, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has announced.
According to the Member of Parliament, the decision was taken as part of efforts to fight the spread of the coronavirus which has so far seen 15 MPs and 56 members of staff of the parliamentary service testing positive.
He further noted that only parliamentarians and essential staff will be needed for sittings.
Presenting parliament’s next week business schedule, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated, “Following the results received from the Noguchi Memorial Institute for the Covid-19 testing carried out in Parliament, there is the need for further precautions to avert the spread of the disease. Leadership have agreed that the House sits only twice a week.
“Again, the directive has been given that beginning next week, Members of Parliament will not be allowed to bring their visitors to the House; the same directive goes to the staff. And we want to restate the fact that, the public would also not be allowed into the public gallery to observe proceedings in the House,” he added.
The Majority Leader also revealed that a new Appointments Committee would be reconstituted after the new standing orders are approved. However, in the meantime, the erstwhile Appointments Committee will commence vetting of ministerial nominees on Wednesday, February 10, 2021.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state that there is going to be a new confederation for the Appointments Committee if we come to adopt the new standing orders,” the Suame MP stated.
He added, “but since we are not there yet, the Committee in its current nature and structure will then sit on Wednesday to begin the vetting process of nominees”.