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15.02.2006 General News

Majority Leader appeals to Parliamentary C'ttee to look at ROPAB petition

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Accra, Feb. 15, GNA - Mr Felix Owusu-Adjapong, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, on Wednesday appealed to the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes to refer a petition on the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, ROPAB presented to parliament by yesterday's demonstrators to the Committee on Constitution, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to assist them in their work.

He said the proper procedure was not followed in presenting the petition to the Speaker, however, because of the interest shown by the public in the bill, it would be important if a copy of the petition was given to the committee to enable them study it as the house prepares to take the bill through the consideration stage on Thursday.

The house is likely to pass the bill on Friday, after the third reading according to the business statement presented last Friday. Thousands of demonstrators yesterday took to the streets of Accra to demonstrate against the passage of the bill, after which they presented a petition to Mr Freddy Blay, the First Deputy Speaker.

Earlier, Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Deputy Minister of Health, who was in the house to answer some questions on behalf of his Minister, had an easy task, as he only attended to one question from a PNC member out of the four because of the absence of the NDC members.

The NDC MPs have since February nine, vacated their seats in protest over the passage of ROPAB.

Mr Haruna Bayirga, PNC-Sissala West, wanted to find out about the programme put in place by the health ministry to facelift the Gwollu Health Centre and ultimately upgrade it into a district hospital. Mr Owusu-Agyei said the ministry was preparing a "hospital development policy paper to prioritise and upgrade all districts hospitals including the newly created ones.

"The Gwollu Health Centre will thereafter be rehabilitated and upgraded accordingly."

On how to solve the acute transportation problems associated with taking care of emergencies at the health centre, he said the Ministry was in the process of acquiring more ambulances and the centre would not be left out.