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General News Thu, 15 Nov 2001

Report on Reconciliation Bill Presented To Parliament

Three papers, including a report on the National Reconciliation Bill, were on Wednesday laid in Parliament.

The other two were a report from the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation on the Water Use Regulations L. I. 1692 and Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds Regulations L. I. 1695.

The report on the Reconciliation Bill signed by Mr Abraham Ossei Aidoo, Chairman of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs said: "When passed will be the first crucial step towards healing the festering sores within our body politic emanating from human rights violations inflicted by the state or its servants."

It said it would also enable the country to move forward as a united people and in addition send liberal and democratic signals to the international community. It said: "The quest for reconciliation also seeks to put to an end to the cycle of vengeance and political recrimination that has so far been our lot.

This noble exercise needs the support of all to ensure that the objectives of the Bill are achieved".

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Just after the Bill was laid Mr Doe Adjaho, the Minority Chief Whip prayed the Speaker, to give him a guide as to the Constitutional interpretation of Article 106 (14), which stated that no report should be kept for more than three months when it was referred to a committee.

He said the Bill has been with the committee since July and that it had outlived its constitutional time frame and wondered what about what could be done under the circumstance.

Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, Speaker, acknowledged that the Bill had actually been delayed but that the spirit of Article 106 was only to ensure that committees did not deliberately delay materials for legislation.

He said the Article did not say that if a material was delayed then it had become moribund and for that matter the House could not use it. The Speaker thus said the delay would not affect the validity of the Bill.

Source: .
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