General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
The Minority in parliament is demanding the withdrawal of the Office of Special Prosecutor bill amidst protests that enough copies have not been made available to all legislators.
The Office of Special Prosecutor bill was laid before Parliament for consideration and approval on Tuesday, July 18 with opposition from the minority that due process was not followed.
If approved, it will help fight corruption by public officers in the country.
On Wednesday, July 19, Members of Parliament of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stuck to their demand for its immediate withdrawal.
According to Minority Chief Whip Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, “there is a minimum requirement and Order 75 of the House indicates that as soon as sufficient copies of a paper for distribution to members have been received at the office of the clerk, notice of presentation of the paper may be placed on the order paper and as soon as Mr Speaker announces papers for presentation, the paper will have been deemed to be laid on the table,” he said.
He continued: “Mr Speaker, this is the minimum requirement for any paper to be laid and I’m saying, yesterday, that the business of laying the bill didn’t meet this order, it didn’t meet the requirement of sufficient copies that should be made to the House.”
However, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu argues that the clerks received sufficient copies and “would have advised the Speaker that they have sufficient copies for which reason they put it on the order paper and then brought [to the House]”.
He rather blamed the fire that engulfed portions of Job 600 which houses offices for parliamentarians as the reason why copies of the bill have not been made available to MPs.