Pressure group, Media Coalition on RTI has expressed dissatisfaction at the “lackadaisical attitude” of Ghana’s lawmakers toward the passage of the Right to Information Bill.
The group observes over 200 Members of Parliament (MPs) “are consistently absent anytime the RTI Bill is up for consideration” since the House returned from recess in October.
This attitude of the lawmakers comes on the back of an assurance by Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu that the Bill would be passed in the middle of November.
With less than 20 days for Parliament to rise for the Christmas break, the Coalition believes the non-attendance of sitting by the lawmakers is a deliberate attempt to frustrate the passage of the RTI Bill.
“It is on record that only between 30 and 50 MPs are in the Chamber anytime the RTI Bill is up for consideration in the past two weeks,” the group noted in a statement Monday.
The RTI Bill is currently at the Consideration stage, the first since it was first laid in Parliament in February 2015.
It has been in and out of the House for the past eight years.
But considering the posture of Parliament, the Coalition fears the Bill may not be passed this year, a situation it has described as intolerable.
“We are minded by the fact Parliament has sat on Monday’s, weekends and sometimes late into the night just to pass some laws in this country and to approve of loan agreements,” it said.
“Therefore, the ongoing absenteeism anytime the RTI Bill is up for consideration is unacceptable…giving credence to public suspicions that a high number of MPs are against the passage of the Bill.”
The Coalition is calling on the leadership of Parliament to honour its promise by ensuring the passage of the Bill ahead of the Christmas break.