By: Abdul-Iddrisu Faisel | Voltaonlinegh.com |
A Ghanaian-registered non-governmental organisation, the African Center for Parliamentary Journalism and Research (ACPJR) has asked the leadership of Parliament, to punish severely, its members who fall foul of the Constitution and the Standing Orders of Parliament.
In a press release signed by the Executive Director of ACPJR, Mr. Harrison Kofi Belley, the ACPJR noted that, it had observed with utter dismay the variance in Parliament handling acts of disrespect and contempt of Parliament, by Members of Parliament (MPs) and non-Parliamentarians.
According to the ACPJR, Parliament has over the years been reluctant and lenient, with MPs who are found guilty of contempt of Parliament, while persons who are non-Parliamentarians are punished severely; a situation the ACPJR said has not helped enough in taming recalcitrant MPs.
The press statement followed the decision of Parliament to reprimand Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin Central who has been found guilty of contempt of Parliament, by the Privileges Committee of Parliament, a decision the ACPJR described as not deterrent enough.
The ACPJR noted that, the Assin Central MP’s description of Parliament as ‘cheap’ and ‘useless’, is not only contemptuous but have the tendency of eroding public confidence in the institution, a more reason why the Member of Parliament, should have been punished severely.
The ACPJR added that, the mere reproof of the MP is a mockery of Parliament and a bad precedent, which is likely to open the floodgates for indiscipline by members of the House.