A former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Emile Short, has described the legislature’s attempts to pass the Right to Information Bill (RTI) a day before its dissolution a “joke”.

Mr Short said he could not fathom why an important bill such as the RTI was left until the last days of the Sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic.

“I really can’t understand why it has taken so long for parliament to pass this bill. The majority had every opportunity to pass this bill, which has been there for over a decade. I find it almost as a joke that they should attempt a day before the dissolution of this parliament to say that they are going to pass it. It was bound to fail because you cannot pass such an important bill within two days,” he told Emefa Apawu on Class FM’s 505 news programme on Thursday, January 5, 2017.

He said legislators had all the time within the year and the previous years that have gone by to pass the bill and “attempts to pass it at the eleventh hour were just a smoke screen, it wasn’t really a genuine attempt to pass the bill”.

He described the development as “very unfortunate as the bill will play an important role in fighting corruption”.

For him accusations by the Majority in parliament that the Minority tried to stampede the process to have it passed during the tenure of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government was “unfair because the Majority had all the time in the world”.