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Parliament to conduct open ballot on anti-gay bill

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Parliament will conduct an open ballot to determine the decision of each of the 275 members of the House on the bill on the “Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, 2021”.

An open ballot system is a voting method in which voters vote openly, in contrast to a secret ballot, where a voter’s choices are confidential.

Proponents of the system point to the fact that it means the ballot box cannot be tampered with in the way an anonymous election can.

On the other hand, by foregoing the secrecy of the ballot, voters may be intimidated into voting a certain way which might be different from how they would actually vote if allowed to do so anonymously.

“The decision of the House will be made public. We will want to know where each Member of Parliament stands,” Mr Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin announced, as he welcomed members of the Legislature back from recess to begin a two-month meeting prior to Christmas.

The Promotion of Proper Human Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values, 2021 Bill, nicknamed Anti-Gay Bill, and now with the Constitutional, Parliamentary and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament, is a Private Members’ Bill championed by eight legislators, seeking to outlaw the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) and adjacent activities, and stipulating jail terms for offenders, sympathisers and funders.

The bill, introduced to the House in July 2021, underwent its first reading on 3rd August 2021 and has since been transmitted to Parliament’s Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee with subsequent readings with the resumption of the House from recess.

Since its introduction to Parliament, the Anti-Gay Bill has generated a lot of interest with different dimensions as it awaited consideration by the House.

Speaker Bagbin cautioned that the House would not allow any filibustering of the Bill, but would create an enabling environment for all to put across their views.

He agreed with Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu for committee sittings on the proposed law to be held public.

Speaker Bagbin assured Ghanaians that the Parliament would pass a law that protects the Ghanaian culture and values as a people which would also ensure the identity of Ghanaians.

“I persuade that this Parliament will pass a law that is in sync with our constitutional provisions, particularly the provisions on fundamental human rights and freedoms, and the various laws that exist in this country.

“I am persuaded that we will pass a law that is rich in common sense, human decency, morality fact, logic, and the one that does not foment hatred in any shape or form, “the Speaker insisted.

On the Affirmative Action Bill, which gives legal backing to put more women in government positions, Speaker Bagbin said: “I am determined to ensure that Affirmative Action Bill is passed during the course of this meeting.

He emphasized on the need for the House with other Arms of Government, civil society and the media, and entreated members to get on board and to purge Parliament of the perception of being subservient to the Executive.

Speaker, who is also the Vice President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association International, commended Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on his election to the association’s vice chairmanship position and announced that Ghana would host the 2023 international conference.

Speaker Bagbin urged all MPs to give maximum support to the Chair and Leadership to speed up their activities and also pleaded with the various Ministers to respond to calls from the House and respect the time table of the House while urging them to take keen interests in the preparation of their Ministries’ Budgets.

He noted that the Regions of Ghana Bill, 2021 and the Standing Orders Bill, 2021 were two important Bills to attract the attention of the House and charged the MPs to work hard to enable the House pass all outstanding bills if they regularly and punctually attended parliamentary sittings.

Source: GNA

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National: 2023 Budget: TUC to reject government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m

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Deputy-General-Secretary-of-the-Trades-Union-Congress-TUC-Joshua-Ansah

After several attempts to reach an agreement with government over an increment in their base pay, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is expected to meet government on Wednesday to finalise a deal.

But before that meeting gets underway, the Trades Union Congress is warning that it will not accept government’s projections in the 2023 Budget.

The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, reading the 2023 Budget in Parliament projected compensation of employees at GH¢44,990 million (5.6% of GDP).

Earlier, government also proposed a 12% salary increment during the last negotiation with Organised Labour but it was turned down.

 

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Tuesday, Deputy General Secretary of TUC, Joshua Ansah stated that they would not agree to the projected figure.

According to Mr Ansah, government must expect a fight if they turn up at the meeting with the same proposal.

JoyNews/AdomNews · TUC to reject government’s salary projection in 2023 Budget
“There is no way Organised Labour is also going to accept what has been put in the budget. Well, if the government has made up its mind that it is the way it thinks that he can actually force down the throat of workers, then we are in for a big fight, because there is no way government can pay anything below what we are expecting,” he said.

He noted that Organised Labour will not compromise on their demand for 60% increment in their base pay.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Medical Association, Dr. Justice Yankson says government has created a problem by not reaching an agreement with the labour unions earlier.

JoyNews/AdomNews · Dr Yankson on organised labour and government’s negotiations
He believes the current mess could have been prevented.

“These are some of the problems that sometimes we create for ourselves. We had a whole period in which we could have sorted these things, we waited to the last end. Now we can see that we are on a collition course, it is clear,” he said.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Politics: Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory

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A Wenchi High Court has thrown out a petition against New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator in the Techiman South 2020 election.

The petitioner was seeking the nullification of the poll which saw the NPP candidate, Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah, emerge victorious.

But at the hearing Wednesday, the court explained that the NDC 2020 Parliamentary candidate, Christopher Bayere, who was pursuing the matter, failed to prove the burden of petitioning.

The court was attended by some leaders of the NDC including General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
He was sighted leaving the court premises a few minutes before the judgement.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate had contested the EC’s verdict which gave the NPP’s candidate victory with 49,682 votes representing 50.2 percent of the total valid votes cast, whilst the NDC’s candidate had 49,205 votes representing 49.8 percent of the total valid votes cast.

The NDC Parliamentary candidate insisted that the figures were not a true reflection of the election.

According to him, per the pink sheets of the NDC agents at each of the 267 polling stations, he garnered 50,306 votes in the Parliamentary election whilst the 1st Respondent polled 50,013 votes.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
Electoral Commission fined in 2021

In August 2021, the Electoral Commission of Ghana was fined GH¢4,000 by the court after the Court refused to grant the EC’s request for a stay of proceedings in the dispute on July 30, 2021.

Wenchi High Court throws out petition against NPP MP’s 2020 election victory
The EC’s application for a stay of proceedings was to enable it to file a motion to challenge the ruling of the Court at its previous sitting, when it granted the petitioner a motion to amend the title of the writ.

TCounsel for the EC, Emmanuel Addae said the stay of proceedings was to enable him to file supplementary statements in support of the application filed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Mr Christopher Beyere Baasongti.

However, reacting to the EC’s stay of proceedings, the Counsel for the petitioner, Justin Teriwajah argued that the motion was frivolous and unnecessarily geared towards delaying the adjudication of the case.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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Football: Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style

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It was the much-needed win for Ghanaians who were largely sitting on tenterhooks for the final quarter of the game.

And from the reactions, after the South Koreans netted a quickfire double between the 58th and 61st minutes, something had to definitely happen.

Kudus rose to the occasion, found himself at the end of a Gideon Mensah cross and curled the ball past the goalkeeper to restore Ghana’s lead and eventually sealed the game for Black Stars.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
The 68th-minute winner triggered a thunderous celebration across the country and on social media.

Despite late attempts from the Koreans, the game ended 3-2 with Ghana earning a vital win in Group H.

Asamoah Gyan’s run, Bagbin’s dance and Black Stars fans’ clean-up as fans celebrate S. Korea win in style
Alban Bagbin

The jubilation started right from Ghana’s legislative arm where the Speaker, Alban Bagbin was caught on camera dancing to one of the goals on the day from his office.

The ecstatic Speaker punched the air while clad in his Black Star jersey in the company of other officials of the House.

Asamoah Gyan runs

Former Black Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan was on punditry duty at SuperSports TV.

However, the ethics of being on a live set could not suppress his excitement when the deciding goal was scored.

Filled with elation, the former skipper run out of the set in jubilation shouting atop his voice.

His iconic goal celebration was his response when asked about his reaction to some moments of the game.

Fans in clean-up mode

Now, supporters of Japan’s national team have been earning praise in Qatar for their zeal toward cleanliness after each game.

This win seems to have presented Ghanaian fans with the opportunity to emulate this off-pitch tradition.

While many celebrated the win at full-time, other fans were seen moving boxes around to collect the waste left by their colleagues.

South Korea’s Son not in selfie mood

Another interesting sight came from an official from the Ghana dressing room posing for a selfie.

The subject Son Heung-min was almost in tears after his team lost at full-time.

Otto Addo’s side will now face Uruguay in their last game looking to secure qualification to the next stage of the competition.

Source: Myjoyonline

 

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