The Minority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has asked parliament to stop rushing bills through, especially with just a few weeks to the presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to him, if care is not taken, the house will approve a bill that may not inure to the benefit of the citizenry.
His concern follows the passage of the Local Governance Bill within two weeks of its introduction. The bill, which seeks to consolidate all the five major laws on local governance and decentralisation, will also define and regulate planning activities of district assemblies in the country.
Speaking on the floor of parliament on Thursday October 27, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu questioned the haste with which the over 100 amendments to the bill were approved by the house, especially when most Members of Parliament were not present.
“Given the circumstances of the times, just about four weeks to the elections, how are we going to find expression on the ground? When I came this morning and saw the bills that we are supposed to go through, I was really frightened by this enterprise that we are embarking on,” he said.
“I think that we should tread very cautiously, especially when we are approaching elections. I don’t want us to be technical because if we want to be technical, one could look at the numbers in the chamber – the number in the chamber is certainly not something that I will want to mention – that is why I said we should not be technical, but we should be very cautious about what we are doing as a house. It is not tidy enough. Less than six weeks to a general election and major bills are being rushed through parliament. I shudder to think of the consequences.”
His concern was supported by the Member of Parliament for Wa West, Joseph Yieleh Chireh, who stated: “Mr Speaker, I agree entirely with what the Minority Leader is saying…so I will plead that we don’t take the motion that the minister is moving.”