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General News of Friday, 6 January 2017


Parliament fails to pass RTI Bill despite Mahama’s appeal

The 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic has failed to pass some key bills including the Right to Information Bill, the Plant Breeders Bill and Interstate Succession Bill.

President John Dramani Mahama in his last state of the nation address, had appealed to the House to consider passing the Bill into law, while addressing the legislature on Thursday – a move the minority kicked against.

The Majority leader, Alban Bagbin, in his final address on the floor of the house before dissolution, described as “unfortunate” the house’s inability to pass the bills which he says were important.

As the House prepares to be dissolved by midnight today [Friday], it will be unable to further work on the RTI Bill until it is brought back to the new Parliament by the incoming government.

“It is important to mention that, the house unfortunately could not pass certain important bills that were submitted to the house. I say it was unfortunate because of their likely impact on the rights to freedoms of very important segments of our society and also the impact on our drive as a country to combat corruption,” Mr Bagbin said.

Other key bills the house failed to pass during its existence was the Properties rights of Spouses bill, Lotto and lotteries bill, Interception of postal packets and communication messages bill, narcotics control commission bill and Statistics bill.

Alban Bagbin said the Bills, which are at various stages in the House, must be urgently brought back to parliament by the incoming government for considerations.

He further revealed that, the House passed some 75 bills into law and 66 instruments.

“This year alone, the house passed 21 bills including the Maritime Pollution bill, Revenue administration bill, Bank of Ghana amendment bill, Local government bill, security industry bill and Ghana deposit protection bill,” he said.

Alban Bagbin, who has been tipped to become the second deputy speaker in the next parliament, commended the Members of the Parliament for their cooperation and hard work, and also called on the MPs who will be in the next parliament to dedicate themselves to the business of the house, and uphold the interest of the country.

‘I served to the best of my ability – Speaker’

Meanwhile, the outgoing speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Edward Doe Adjaho, has said he leaves posterity to judge him on his service to the 5th Parliament.

Edward Doe Adjaho said he was certain he had served to the best of his ability, and did so in the interest of the country.

He further expressed appreciation to both sides of the House for their cooperation and support as he chaired the affairs of the house over the 4-year period.