Laying Vigilantism Bill In Parliament The Right Move – Lawyer
Private legal practitioner, Yaw Oppong has backed the presentation of a Bill outlining how the government intends to deal with political party vigilantism.
He says the move confirms the president’ s unending resolve to eliminate such groups from Ghana’s political space.
Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo on Thursday laid in Parliament the Bill which aims at addressing the violence should the two main political parties fail to resolve it through dialogue.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, Mr Oppong maintained that the laying of the Bill in Parliament is a step in the right direction.
“If we say this is the final solution, that word final, itself is very important because it means that there have been other steps taken including the commission of inquiry that was set up. I believe the President has received the report and authorized the Attorney General to present this Bill. It means that whatever is contained in that report, in the view of the President may be a way to supplement the law or be a springboard for a law to be enacted instead of a convention or mere recommendation. So this is a step in the right direction.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee, indicating that the Attorney General and government had made an express request to have the legislation considered under a certificate of urgency.
The Speaker thus asked the relevant committee to determine whether it is of an urgent nature or not.
“Honourable Members, with our Standing Order 119 in relation to the urgency or otherwise of the Bill, for the purposes of its consideration by Parliament, it is the prerogative of the relevant Committee of Parliament…The House shall await the determination of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs [on the Bill] tomorrow, Friday 12th April 2019,” the Speaker read on the Floor of Parliament.
NPP, NDC agree to end Political Vigilantism
The two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the first day of the dialogue to end political vigilantism which was mediated by the Peace Council, emphasized the need to stop the activities of political vigilante groups in the country.
The NPP and the NDC among other things also agreed to stop the ownership, hiring and the utilization of vigilante groups.
The chairman of the meeting, S.K.B Asante told the media: “After an open and exhaustive deliberation, the parties agreed that vigilantism is inimical to Ghana's system and must be eradicated.”
“Significantly, both parties agreed to engage in deliberations aimed at :1.Disbanding vigilante groups operating within political parties or for political purposes. 2. Prohibiting the ownership, hiring or utilization of such groups by the political parties or members thereof; 3.Cooperating with state agencies and stakeholders in the total eradication of such groups or incidence of vigilantism in the country,” he added.