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NPP deliberately hampering passage of RTI bill for political gains - NDC

George Loh George Loh

Sun, 16 Oct 2016 Source: kasapafmonline.com

The Vice Chairman of the Constitutional and Legal Committees of Parliament, George Loh, has accused the opposition in Parliament (Minority) of deliberately delaying the passage of the Right To Information Bill, 2015, for the party’s political gains.

According to him, the NPP which has promised in its 2016 manifesto to pass the RTI when it assumes power, has it’s Members of Parliament intentionally introducing several amendments to the Bill whenever its being considered on the floor of the House to slow its passage.

The right to information, also known as freedom of information is an internationally recognized fundamental human right to access information held by government bodies. It is also based on the democratic principle that in a democracy, the sovereignty of a nation lies in the hands of the people in whose name and on whose behalf government exercise powers.

On November 12, 2013, the RTI Bill, 2015 was tabled before the 6th Parliament and was subsequently referred to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for consideration and report to the plenary.

The Committee presented its report to the House in December 2014 recommending 157 clauses of amendments to the Bill.

In March 2016, Parliament began the consideration of the Bill with the proposed amendments by the Select Committee. Between March and June, 2016, Parliament had considered 29 out of the 157 clauses of amendments.

However, Parliament suspended the consideration of the RTI Bill to make room for some other Bills they described were very much of interest to the nation.

The Right To Information Coalition which is championing the passage of the Bill has since then voiced its displeasure about the way Parliament is handling the Bill.

On Tuesday, October 11, 2016, some members of the Coalition stormed the various streets leading to the Parliament of Ghana and demanded from the Speaker and the legislators to pass the RTI Bill, 2015 before the dissolution of the 6th Parliament.

But speaking on Joy FM’s News File programme show, Hon. George Loh who’s also the MP for North Dayi, stated that any blame for the delayed passing of the Bill should be put at the door steps of the NPP.

“I hear the NPP go into a Manifesto launch and say they are going to bring RTI when they are voted into power. For eight years when they were in power, it was in Parliament, we have come and we have made a commitment that by the end of this term we’ll pass it.

What is even shocking is that if you go to the Hansard…the difficulties we have on the floor of Parliament is occasioned by the opposition, they are challenging everything.

In fact most of the amendment stands in their name, so they are actually truncating us from passing the RTI. They come back and put it in their manifesto that they will pass it. What they are doing is deliberate.”

Source: kasapafmonline.com