Your integrity is at stake; RTI Action Campaign to Akufo-Addo

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As the clock ticks and the hours go by, campaigners fear the President‘s promise to have the Right To Information (RTI) Bill laid before Parliament rises may not materialise.

The RTI Action Campaign, which begun a countdown to mount pressure on PresidentNana Akufo-Addo to honour his Independence Day pledge is not giving up on the last day of sitting Parliament.

One of the campaigners, Samson Lardy Anyenini, wants the President to “keep to his word”.

The President acknowledged the RTI is a major tool in the corruption fight, especially after the setting up of the Office of Special Prosecutor and the subsequent appointment of Martin Amidu to head it.

Processes leading to the laying of the bill in parliament and its passage have however been less satisfactory to campaigners.

On the last day sitting, Parliament is yet to receive the bill.

“We don’t want to believe that the president would say things he does not mean.

“…and that the president is not mindful of what will happen to his integrity if he does not keep to his word, words of promise that he made not on any ordinary day but on Independence Day,” Mr.  Anyenini told Joy FM Friday.

Majority Leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has said it is unlikely the Bill will be laid in Parliament before it rises later Friday.

According to him, the process and period for gazetting will keep the RTI Bill from being laid before the House takes a break for the Easter period.

“Assuming it is sent for gazetting [today], we will have to wait for the stipulated time to mature before it comes to Parliament which is why if we have to wait for that time, Parliament would have recessed.”

“…but then, as you do know, this is not a Bill that can be considered under a certificate of urgency and be completed in one day,” Mr. Mensah-Bonsu told Citi FM.

But Mr. Anyenini argued that the position of the RTI Action Campaign is that at least, the Bill should be laid before the lawmakers take their vacation so that it will be thoroughly debated when the House returns instead of it being “rushed” under a certificate of urgency.

“We don’t think that this is the kind of law you take through a certificate of urgency and rush…it should still be allowed to go through the normal process so that Parliamentcan own it,” Mr. Anyenini told Super Morning Show host, Daniel Dadzie, Friday.

Source Myjoyonlline.com

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