The Majority Leader in Parliament, Cletus Avoka has expressed shock at what he says are attempts by the Right to Information Coalition to blame parliament for the delay in passing the Right to Information Bill into law.
The Majority Leader told the parliamentary press corps on Wednesday that the coalition is part of the problem. He said the delays by the coalition to submit proposals for a review of relevant clauses have partly grounded the work of the house.
Mr Avoka also said parliament and his office have shown enough commitment this year by holding a wrap-up meeting with all stakeholders but have been saddled with financial difficulties and delays from groups like the Right to Information Coalition.
According to Mr Avoka, in view of demands for the passage of the RTI, he has suspended a critical field trip outside the country and has demanded a report from the joint committees, legal and communications, handling the bill before the floor of the house in two weeks for debate to start.
The Convener of the Right to Information Coalition, Nana Oye Lithur, speaking to Joy FM however described the Majority Leader?s stance as a classical example of buck passing.
She said it is the responsibility of parliament to consider and adopt laws hence the Majority Leader?s position amounts to shirking of responsibility.
According to Oye Lithur, her group has prepared an expert paper on some of the grey areas of the RTI Bill but was however unsure whether the paper has been presented to parliament.
She however added that their action is just to support the parliamentary process but they cannot in any way delay the process of the passage of the bill.
Nana Oye Lithur further expressed the group’s readiness to take on the National Democratic Congress government over the passage of the RTI.
?This will be a political election campaign issue. Because it was the NDC that put it in its campaign manifesto that the bill will be passed should they be elected. It is barely seven months to election and they have not delivered?, Nana Oye Lithur said.
?The Majority Leader belongs to the NDC and the coalition is putting him on notice that this will be a question and an issue that will dock them on the political platform, so the earlier the NDC government pushes its majority in parliament to consider its bill, the better. We will hold the NDC government accountable because they made the promise….? Nana Oye Lithur added.