Expose ills of society – Speaker

The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has asked journalists to expose ills of society in order to re-enact laws which have become docile in addressing such challenges.

Prof. Oquaye said this at an editor’s forum organised by Parliament through the Office of the Speaker and sponsored by STAR-Ghana Foundation.

Dubbed the “Speakers Editors Form”, the meeting brought together media practitioners to brainstorm on how best to enact those laws through Private Member Bill (PMB).

The PMB provides opportunity for individuals and civil society organisation to help Parliament to promulgate laws through their initiatives which would be a departure from most bills sponsored by the executive arms of government.

Prof. Oquaye said Parliament had set up a Legal Department and a Research Section to help investigate the veracity in re-enacting archaic laws which were on the statutory books and were serving no purpose for societal legal needs.

He said adequate measures had been put in place to help streamline the passage of laws through the Private Member Bill (PMB) believing that Ghana would join the elites of other nations which have incorporated the bill as part of their Legislative system.

The journalists wanted to know when the first PMB could get on the floor of the House and whether an introduction of such a legislative regime would not lead to corrupting MPs by lobbyists who might take advantage of political patronage to push their agenda.

Prof. Oquaye in answering the questions said it was true their MPs were elected by electorates from the constituencies, but as soon as they entered into Parliament they were whipped to tow the line of their political parties on whose ticket they were sponsored to Parliament.

The Speaker gave the assurance that consensus was one of the parliamentary tool used to run most businesses of the House.

He said out of the six PMB which had been drafted by Parliament, one would be laid before Parliament during the next parliamentary session beginning in January.

Mr Affail Monney, President of Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) asked journalists to become more proactive in “nosing for news” which could bring reforms, leading to society development.

Present at the meeting were some Executive Members of GJA, STAR-Ghana Foundation members, Editors from both the electronic and the print and some Members of Parliament from both divide.

BY LAWRENCE MARKWEI

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