MPs set to scrutinize Presidential (Transition) Bill

Members of Parliament will begin the scrutiny of various clauses governing the Presidential (Transition) Bill 2010, when the bill is taken through the Consideration Stage on Wednesday, December 7.

The Consideration Stage of the Bill, slated in the line-up of tomorrows’ Provisional Order Paper, will give members the opportunity to amend the wording of the clauses and propose amendments, with the aim of winnowing various parts of the bill to ensure that when the Bill is passed into law, it can stand on its feet in the courts of law.

A memorandum accompanying the Bill said it seeks to establish arrangements for the political transfer of administration from one democratically elected President to another, especially where it involves the transfer of government from one administration from one political party to another of a different party.

The Bill seeks to also deal with the acrimony that has characterized the transition of power from one political party to another during the period between the 2000 to the 2008 General Elections involving, especially, the two major political parties, NPP and the NDC.

The memorandum said the Bill is aimed at a “better and more harmonious transfer in a manner that does not introduce needless strain … and helps in national reconciliation.”

Various parts and clauses deal with the appointment of a Transitional Team with representatives of the incumbent President and incoming President.

According to clause (3) of the Bill, an obligation is placed on the Transitional Team to meet within 48 hours of the declaration of results of the Presidential elections and the winner.

Other areas that the Bill looks at include the running of government machinery, inventory of national assets, properties, salaries and end of service benefits of officials under article 71 of the Constitution and the vacation of official residencies by public officers.

It is expected that when parliament passes the Bill into law, the country may experience a less stressful transition of power in 2013, from the current administration to another, in the event that a President from a different political party wins the election.

By Eunice Menka

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