The Affirmative Action Bill Needs To Be Passed – Speaker

Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin
Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has reiterated the need for the Affirmative Action Bill to be passed into law.

The Affirmative Action Bill, which is currently before Cabinet for validation, when passed into law, will ensure that a critical number of women are in key positions in governance and public life.

This will put them in decision-making spaces to facilitate the consequential changes in existing laws and policies and improve the lives of women, generally.

The Speaker made the remarks on the floor of Parliament on Thursday and urged the members to take the Affirmative Action Bill from the Executive Arm of Government and work on it, saying: “It is our function to legislate, it is not that of the Executive”.

“If there are any constitutional problems, we will draw their attention. I don’t think that the passage of an Affirmative Action Bill offends any provisions of the Constitution. I don’t see it. I don’t. Because we are not going to legislate them, putting financial positions in the Act.”

He said that was why he agreed with his predecessor, Speaker Mike Aaron Oquaye, for allowing members of the House to initiate the Private Members’ Bill.

He noted that the Government was concerned with Public Bill, the reason the private sector was not well attended to.

He said there were a lot of works to be done to make the private sector flourish as they created wealth and led the growth of the country.

The public sector provides the machinery for the private sector to operate.
Speaker Bagbin appealed to the Members to take their work more seriously, adding that the House was dedicating this year to oversight responsibilities.

“The House will have to do a lot of work this year and next year, so that by the time we get to 2024, which is an election year, we will not witness the scene we witnessed in 2020.”

He urged political parties in the country to ensure that their primary elections were conducted in a peaceful manner.
The House has adjourned sitting to Tuesday, May 31, at 1000 hours.

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