The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is kicking against Parliament’s decision to consider the Imposition of Restrictions Bill which has been laid before the House under a certificate of urgency.
According to the party, the Bill in its current state infringes on the rights of citizens while it gives the President unlimited power.
Addressing the press today, Friday, International Relations Officer of the NDC, Alex Segbefia said there was nothing urgent about the Bill like the Coronavirus pandemic to warrant government’s request to pass it.
“A few days ago, a Bill titled Imposition of Restrictions Bill 2020 was presented to Parliament by the Attorney General, Ms Gloria Akufo on behalf of President [Nana Addo Dankwa] Akufo-Addo for expeditious passage and implementation. The Bill is purported to be part of measures the government is taking to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“The NDC as a political party has no objections to laws that will assist our country to deal with the current COVID-19 pandemic. We will even encourage and assist in drafting such legislation if required. However, the Bill before Parliament bears the hallmarks of authoritarian rule and the NDC likes to state right from the onset that we are totally opposed to it in its current form,” said Alex Segbefia.
Parliament passes Imposition Restrictions Bill
Parliament has agreed to a request from the government for the House to consider the Imposition of Restrictions Bill under a certificate of urgency.
The Minority side in Parliament had earlier argued that there was nothing urgent about the Bill to warrant the government’s request.
The Minority MPs insisted that the Bill will give the President access to unlimited power hence their rejection.
But the Majority side insisted that the Bill must be passed to back measures put in place by the government to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision on whether to pass the Bill under a certificate of urgency was subsequently decided though a vote.
Minority rejects request to consider Bill under certificate of urgency
The Minority however raised concerns about the number of MPs in the House that approved the decision and threatened court action.
The Bill is aimed at giving the President the powers to impose restrictions on the movement of people in the event of a disaster or emergency.
The emergency legislation was brought to Parliament in accordance with Article 21 (4) (c) and (d) of the Constitution.