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01.02.2006 General News

Deputy Minority Leader Files 'ROPAB' Writ

By Graphic

The Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, has filed a writ at an Accra High Court to restrain the Speaker from allowing further proceedings in Parliament on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill.

The Speaker of Parliament, Mr Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes, and the Attorney-General, Mr Ayikoi Otoo, are the first and second defendants respectively in the suit.

The writ is seeking a declaration that upon the expiry of three months after the bill was introduced in Parliament by the Attorney-General, a report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs could no longer be laid for any further discussion on it.

Another declaration is that any proceeding in respect of the bill conducted by the committee after the expiry of the three-month period provided in Article 106 (14) be declared null and void.

A statement of claim accompanying the writ explained that after the bill had been read for the first time in Parliament, it was referred to the committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs under Article 103 of the 1992 Constitution.

It said the bill had been the subject of deliberation at the committee since June 14, 2003, for a period in excess of three months.

It added that by virtue of Article 106 (14) of the Constitution “ a bill introduced in Parliament by or on behalf of the President shall not be delayed for more than three months in any committee of Parliament”.

It stated that on January 18, 2006, more than seven months after the bill had been referred to the committee, its chairman laid the committee's report before Parliament.

The statement said the action, being in flagrant violation of Article 106(14) of the Constitution, had no basis as a lawful process of Parliament.