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Parliament Chided For Observing ‘Foreign’ Minute Silence…But Ablakwa Explains   
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Parliament, on Monday, observed a one-minute silence for victims of the New Zealand shooting incident as well as citizens of Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique who have died because of the cyclone.

A statement was read in Parliament on Monday commiserating with the government of New Zealand following the shooting which occurred on March 15, 2019.

They also paid tributes to victims of Cyclone Idai which led to over 750 deaths.

Speaking on the floor, Monday, the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa suggested that “Mr Speaker, I propose, if it pleases you, that we all as Members of Parliament make voluntary donations in cash or in kind which we should put together and donate to our fellow Africans in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe who are in dire need of our urgent assistance”.

However, this act did not go down well with a lot of people as they took to social media to condemn the MPs for not acknowledging the ghastly accidents that took the lives of over 60 people in Ghana.

They wondered why Parliament by Monday, had not yet reacted to the tragic news or also observe a minute silence for the over 50 casualties.

Adding his voice to the public outrage, the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Kumbungu constituency, Ras Mubarak who was not in the House at the time, said the public was right to be angry.

I found it rather strange that over 70 of our compatriots had perished sadly in Friday’s twin accident and the House of Parliament that represents the people of Ghana didn’t demonstrate any show of support to the victims of the accident. It is very disappointing and if the public is angered by it, it is rightly so. The unhappiness of the public is righteous indignation . . . we needed to rise to the occasion, but unfortunately we didn't live up to that,” he told the media.

But reacting to this in an interview on Citi Eyewitness News, Mr Ablakwa said per the standing orders in Parliament, "you submit a statement to the speaker when you want to make a commemorative statement" and that "admissibility lies in the bosom of the Speaker and it’s the Speaker who will read through the statement to approve it and determine which day the statement will be made".

According to him, "he couldn't have proceeded to amend the statement (which he submitted days ago) on the floor to include the two accidents; adding if he had included that of that, he would be ruled out of order and the Speaker would not have allowed him to speak at all."

He also described as erroneous the impression that “members of Parliament cherish other nationals…at the end of the day it’s humanity. We are one people and the House of Parliament knows its duty and we will not place other countries over our people".
Source: Rebecca Addo Tetteh/Peacefmonline.com/[email protected]

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