Graphic apologises to Parliament

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Our attention has been drawn to some inaccuracies in two of our stories on Parliament last week. They were headlined: ‘Significant event in Parliament’ and ‘Speaker unhappy with Graphic story’.

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to Parliament by the publications and apologise unreservedly to the Speaker, the leadership of the House and all members of Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, has explained that pre-laying, according to parliamentary processes, is a consultative period when sponsors of a bill consult with the relevant committee to smoothen out all rough edges before the bill is laid before the House, reports Victor Kwawukume.

He explained that at that stage, anything could be done by way of additions and corrections to fine-tune the document before being laid before the House.

Mr Amoah said that after the document had been laid before the House, nothing could be done on it again.

He was speaking with the Daily Graphic to explain the processes involved before an instrument is laid before Parliament and throw light on the recent development of Parliament accusing the Daily Graphic of misreporting on its proceedings.

Offences and penalties

He explained that in the issue concerning the Electoral Commission (EC), when the instrument was brought, the first issue that he raised was whether there were offences and penalties, adding that even at that very early stage, some members of the committee had started granting interviews on the document.

That, he said, was not right because the document was officially not before the committee but that the EC was only consulting with the committee to smoothen out any grey areas in it.

He recounted that in view of the broad consultation that the committee desired, some political parties, such as the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), were brought on board to add their perspectives.

Enriching the document

All the consultative moves by the EC with the committee, he said, were to enrich the document and that the inclusion of the media in the special voting was one of the outcomes of such consultation.

According to Mr Amoah, following that, the EC gave the document to the Attorney-General and last Friday morning it was laid before the house, at which point members rose to enquire about their copies because they had been assured that copies would be made available as soon as the document was laid before the House.

At that point, he said, the Deputy Speaker told the House that it was a Friday and that by Monday morning they would have their copies.PARLIAMENT

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