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Politics of Thursday, 29 July 2021

Source: kasapafmonline.com

Voting on anti-LGBT bill must not be done by secret ballot – NPP’s Solomon Owusu

Solomon Owusu, Member of the governing New Patriotic Party Communications Team Solomon Owusu, Member of the governing New Patriotic Party Communications Team

A member of the governing New Patriotic Party(NPP) Communications Team, Solomon Owusu, is advocating for voting on the anti-LGBT Bill not to be done by secret ballot.

He believes some Members of Parliament may hide behind the ‘darkness’ of a secret ballot to vote against the bill.

The controversial bill submitted to Ghana’s parliament proposes up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support, in one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.

Support for intersex people would also be criminalized and the government could direct intersex people to receive “gender realignment” surgery, said the draft legislation.

The draft bill has sparked outrage and growing fear among human rights activists.

But the spirited communicator speaking on 'Ghana Kasa' on Kasapa 102.5FM Wednesday, in backing the bill, said voting to pass the bill into law must be done openly for all to see which Member of Parliament supports an abominable act such as activities of LGBT.

“It must not be a secret ballot, people can hide behind secret ballot and vote against the bill. The last time Parliament voted by secret ballot we had an NPP MP voting against the party’s Speaker candidate (Prof. Mike Oquaye) and all the NPP MPs denied voting against him. So this time around, it must be an open ballot so that the public gets to know who wants to support LGBT activities in Ghana. This must be done live for all Ghanaians to see. Some people want to short-change us but we’ll not allow that,” Solomon Owusu stated.

Meanwhile, one of the eight MPs sponsoring the bill, Sam Nartey George says he’s very positive that no Member of Parliament will have the confidence to publicly kick against the LGBT Bill.

According to the Ningo/Prampram Legislator, given the massive public support for the bill, it will be politically suicidal and foolhardy for any Legislator to oppose it.

But Sam George in an interview on Asempa FM on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, monitored by Kasapafmonline.com, said he fears for the political future of any MP who will not vote for the passage of the bill.

“There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face but if I see the support that Ghanaians from walks of life, all different political persuasions for this bill, if I see the support of this bill by the National House of Chiefs, the support of the Chief Imam, all the spiritual Christian fathers, the Nai Wulomei and all our traditional leaders, and know that MPs sit in Parliament to represent these people, I’m afraid for the political future of any MP who will stand up publicly against the bill.”

He added: “That’s why I’m hundred percent sure that some will stay away from coming to Parliament and not take part in the debate but they cannot stand on the floor and vote against it. They can debate amendments to it and that’s welcome but to oppose the bill, I don’t think anybody has that confidence level.”

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