Coronavirus: Ghana's Minority declines Bill to restrict movement under certificate of urgency

Ghana’s Minority in Parliament has declined to support the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, 2020, under a certificate of urgency.

Ghana's Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu

The bill is aimed at helping to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

It is also to back President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's directives on measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 in Ghana, is intended to provide a legislative framework, in consonance with the Constitution, for the imposition of restrictions as a quick and effective means of intervention to address emergencies.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, laid the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, 2020 before Parliament.

She as well was in Parliament Thursday, March 19, 2020, to meet the Constitutional and Legal Committee of Parliament, praying that it should approve the Restrictions Bill to be considered under a certificate of urgency.

But, the Minority in Parliament has indicated that they cannot support the Bill under a certificate of urgency.

The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in a tweet said: "Unfortunately, the minority has declined to support the view that the bill be considered under a certificate of urgency."

According to a publication by the Dailies, the Minority's argued that the Bill was not an urgent one because it failed to focus on measures that would be instituted to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus in Ghana.

Contrary, it argued that the Bill was intended to give the President “overbroad powers” to restrict freedom of movement, freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

“So we cannot allow the Bill to override Chapter 5 of the Constitution because it is a general restriction of freedom in Ghana,” they said.

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