After stating on an international platform that he’s unaware about the whereabouts of the Right to information Bill, President John Mahama has said he cannot force Parliament to pass the 10-year old Bill into law.
Speaking at the Presidential encounters organized by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) on Wednesday, President Mahama said he cannot force Parliament to pass the Bill into law.
“I can’t force them [Parliament] to pass it,” he said.
[contextly_sidebar id=”8ryL5FheenEZ310S6Hfz1WmyDJQNCMxY”]The Bill, which has been in and out of Parliament for over a decade, is yet to be passed, despite its enormous benefits in enhancing access to information in the country.
President Mahama at the encounter noted that “once you present a Bill to Parliament, it becomes a property of Parliament. I am in the executive.”
He said the Bill after its presentation to Parliament, was placed before a committee adding that “they said they will go round the country, they’ve gone round the country, they said they need more stakeholder consultations, I don’t know where it is now.”
“We have separation of powers, parliament is autonomous, I can’t force them to pass it; but I have been advocating for it that they should pass the Bill. It’s been too long, in the state of the nation addresses, I’ve referred to that Bill, and I’ve indicated that I don’t know why it has taken too long in Parliament.”
The President further noted that, he thought the Bill would be passed before the dissolution of the current Parliament, but it seems that was not the case.
“We thought it was going to be passed in the last parliament, but I don’t know what happened.”
I’m not scared of RTI Bill
President Mahama also noted that, he is not scared of the passage of the Bill because he has nothing to hide.
“I can live with that Bill; my government has nothing to hide and I believe that transparency would help us.”
I don’t know where RTI bill is
President Mahama had about two months ago, told the international community that he doesn’t know where the RTI Bill is.
He has since been slammed by some civil society organisations for making that claim.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana