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30.05.2019 General News

Publish Short Commission Report To Avoid Half Baked Anti-Vigilantism Law—Minority

Publish Short Commission Report To Avoid Half Baked Anti-Vigilantism Law—Minority

The Minority caucus in Parliament has demanded for the full disclosure of the Justice Emil Short Commission Report, on the Ayawaso West Wuguon bye-election to help Parliament enrich the Anti-Vigilantism and Related Bill before it is passed into law.

Ranking member on Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, James Agalga said this at a press conference in Accra Wednesday May 29.

According to the Minority, if the Emile Short Commission ought to enrich the content of the Vigilantism Bill, then it ought to be published to enable Members of Parliament deliberate on the Bill bearing in mind the recommendation of the Commission.

The Minority argued that, any attempt to stampede Parliament to enact legislation on political party vigilantism without drawing lessons from the Emile Short Commission report could only produce a half baked law that will fail to fight the menace of vigilantism.

The Justice Emile Short Commission presented its report to President Akufo-Addo since March, 2019, but the Presidency has failed or refused to issue a white paper on it or published it.

Mr Agalga said, the discretionary powers and the constitutional provision which grants the President six months within which the report will be published, the Emile Short Report recommendation would make significant impact on the Bill.

"The discretionary powers vested in the President in Article 280 (4), on the publication or otherwise of the report of a committee of enquiry, there are compelling reasons why it will be grossly misconceived for the president to seek refuge under the said Article. The Emile Short Committee report deals directly with political-related violence and acts of political party vigilantism and necessarily must serve as source material for Parliament’s review before any legislation on vigilantism can be passed," he stated.

The Minority expressed the view that publishing the report formed part of good governance and the process to find a lasting solution to the menace of political vigilantism which has already began.

They contended that President Akufo Addo should not be sounding rhetoric but " must hold the tenets of good governance by publishing the Emile Short’s Commission’s report given the public interest nature of the issue investigated by the Commission.”

At a recent stakeholders forum with the Parliamentary Committee on the Bill, participant made similar demand for the publication of the report which the President himself has publicly assured that his government would do its best to implement the recommendations of the report.

Though the report is not officially published, media reports pointed that, it outlined the findings and recommendations from the committee’s probe of the violence.