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05.10.2004 General News

A busy day in a Hall of leisure

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A GNA Colour by Samuel Osei-Frempong

Accra, Oct 5, GNA - As workmen tore through concrete slabs of the Parliamentary Chamber to make way for the 30 yet to come, the House sought shelter in the expansive State Banquet Hall to spend its last days.

With a big plate of items to serve, Parliament began its third meeting like student finalists called from vacation and attempting to make up for lost opportunities as the flight of time blurs their imagination.

Nostalgia seemed to have gripped the Members as they hugged, shook hands at the entrance and heckled each other.

Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker, was as ceremonial as the rented Hall. He donned his ceremonial cloak to fan the embers of the ebbing Third Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

The seating arrangements stayed unaltered as the Majority and the Minority faced each other to do the last battle of the war of debate and intrigue that had been predestined to last for four years.

But what a huge hall could do to a selected few is to expose their rear and keep the population of visitors and Journalists low.

While in the main Chamber, many backbenchers cried for being far from the Speakers' eye because they dwelt in the "wilderness" section of the House, here the eyes may take him far beyond the last pew and even see the beams from the morning sun piercing through the massive glass doors.

Seven Bills, including the West African Gas Pipeline, Internal Revenue (Registration of Business) Bills are to the served.

Seven papers, including the "Special Report of the Auditor-General on Investigation into alleged irregularities against Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Chief Executive of the Volta River Authority" are being scrutinised at the committee level.

Members would work on various Legislative Instruments and papers. Though some chair stayed empty, Alhaji Mohammad Mumuni's Kumbungu Seat seemed most conspicuous.

The Member, who runs with Professor John Evans Atta Mills on the National Democratic Congress' Presidential slot in Election 2004 allegedly, did a summersault with his German made contrivance in an early morning ride.

The Parliamentary season had seen hopes dashed and lives crushed. Its last days tick away without some who began it while others would have to lame duck because their bid could not go through for a second time.

With a few days and nights to polls day, a prospect of booking a seat in an expanded Parliamentary chamber makes the allure of a crystal ball stronger than ever.

There seem to be something of a bright day about the surroundings of the State House, which houses Parliament. Workmen and women bang and dig in and outside this massive edifice, breaking sweat to add to its prominence. Two fountains make the frontage of the edifice. They come alive when a day like this is marked but only one spewed water on Tuesday. Could this mystery lie in the hands of the workmen struggling to perfect a national asset or in a speck on a revolving crystal ball?

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