Editorial: Brawl in Parliament is dangerous to our democracy

On Monday, the Members of Parliament (MP) turned the Chamber into a boxing arena and freely traded blows in a brawl that has attracted nationwide condemnation.

In videos that have since gone viral, some members of parliament were seen engaged in free for all fight, with MPs throwing punches and grappling, while others restrained their colleagues on the floor of Parliament. This despicable act has brought great shame to the august house and the members of parliament.

The fight in the Legislative house broke out during a debate over a proposed tax on electronic transactions that has divided the house for weeks.

The chaos started after opposition MPs rushed forward to prevent Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu from leaving his seat to vote on the hastened “urgency” procedure for the proposed tax on electronic transactions.

As a matter of fact, the violence exhibited in the august house is not the first time in this 8th Parliament.

It would be recalled that during the election of the Speaker, Rt Hon Alban Kingsford S. Bagbin, in early January, this year, a similar shameful act of hooliganism erupted in the House, where a member of parliament snatched the ballot papers and bolted away.

The Chronicle, like other Ghanaians, is very worried about these developments, because in our view, it constitutes an existential threat to our fledgling democracy.

This is more so, because our Members of Parliament are viewed as highly responsible and honourable people, for which reason a lot of their constituents look up to them as role models. Therefore, it is regrettable for these same individuals who make laws to take the law into their own hands and put up such misbehavior.

It is utterly dangerous for our respected Members of Parliament to throw their respect to the dogs and openly fight in the legislative house because they disagree on issues.

Our fear, which we believe is a major concern to many, is that these acts of hooliganism on the floor of Parliament are sending wrong signals to the youth.

The elected legislators are shamefully communicating to the youth and the citizenry at large, that violence is the best means to achieve results.

We are, therefore, appealing to the leaderships and members of both sides of the House to, as a matter of urgency, see themselves as people who have been duly elected to positions of trust and respect, and behave as such.

At least, lessons drawn from our past military regimes and others observed from elsewhere, must instill in us a sense of greater discipline and guide us to consolidate our democracy.

Enough of the brawl in Parliament!


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