Posted: Friday 27th June 2014 at 18:00 pm

Parliamentarians Unhappy With Foreign Affairs Directive

Members of Parliament have expressed their displeasure over a directive from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that excluded them from receiving protocol services at the Ghana High Commission in the United Kingdom.

The directive restricted the offer of protocol services to the President and the First Lady, the Vice President and Spouse, former Presidents and spouses, Ministers of State and the Leadership of Parliament among others.

It did not include ordinary Members of Parliament.

The directive is contained in a letter written from the Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Speaker and copies were made to members.

Irked by the directive, members on Friday prayed Mr Joe Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker, who presided over proceedings to invite the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the House for an explanation.

The members were at a loss as to the intention of exempting them from such protocol services when they formed one of the basic arms of government.

When the issue came up on the floor, Mr Emmanuel Kwasi Bandua, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs said the issue bordered on the respect accorded to MPs.

He further expressed displeasure about the lack of respect and necessary courtesies, not only from other quarters, but from some colleagues who are Ministers.

Invoking the principle of Separation of Powers, Mr Bandua underlined the need to accord the necessary respects and courtesies to all the three Arms of Government.

In a contribution, Mr Isaac Osei (NPP-Subin), and former Ghana’s High Commissioner in London, said there might other aspects of the directive.

He said the issue might be to reduce cost, and adding that the “other people” that might not be covered could be party functionaries and others who might claim to be on government business.

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