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12.07.2005 Politics

Forum calls on Parliament to hasten passage of two bills


Bolgatanga, July 12, GNA - Participants at a forum in Bolgatanga on Tuesday called on Parliament to hasten the passage of the People's Representation and the Whistle Blowers Bills.

They said while the Whistle Blower's Bill would help decrease the rate of corruption in the country, the People's Representation Bill would afford Ghanaians living abroad an opportunity to choose the leaders of the country.

They said Ghanaians living abroad were contributing so much to the development of the country by direct and indirect investments and for them to have a chance to vote would enhance their patriotic feelings and encourage them to help build the country.

The forum, which was organised by the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, sought to solicit the views of the public on the two bills.

The Representation Bill when passed would allow Ghanaians citizens, who are above the age of 18 years, with sound mind, resident outside the country to exercise their franchise during Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The Whistle Blower's Bill seek to protect people and their families who divulge information on corrupt practices.

The participants, however, called on the Government to provide National Identity cards to all Ghanaians and be prepared to make provision for adequate logistics to facilitate the exercise in the next three years.

The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Kwame Osei-Prempeh, explaining the People's Representation Bill, said the Constitution stipulated that all Ghanaians, 18 years and above be registered as voters and that it would, therefore, be discriminatory for them to be denied the chance to vote just because they were abroad.

On the Whistle Blower's Bill, the Chairman who is also the Member of Parliament for Nsuta Kwamang Beposo, explained that the bill when passed would help expose those who engaged in economic malfeasance and other corrupt practices.

He said the Whistle Blowers would be protected even if it demanded that they be given daily guard.

Eight of the 18-Member Committee were present.