Why NDC MP’s visa application at US Embassy has delayed.
• Emmanuel Bedzrah’s visa application has delayed
• It was suspected that the US Embassy was using the visa to gag MPs who support the anti-LGBTQ+ bill
• Muntaka says his office has been briefed on the reason for the delay
Muntaka Mubarak, the Minority Chief has revealed that Parliament has been briefed on the reason behind the delay in the issuance of visas to some Members of Parliament.
Sam Nartey George, the lead advocate for the “Promotion of Proper Sexual Rights and Ghanaian Family Values Bill, 2021” disclosed in a series of interviews that MPs who were connected to the bill either had their visa requests at some embassies denied or delayed.
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Sam George suspected that the development was due to their connection with the bill as some embassies had shown open opposition to the anti-LGBTQ bill.
But Muntaka in a Joy News interview on Sunday, October 31, 2021 stated that talks have been held between Parliament and the embassies in question and that the reason for the delays has been communicated to Parliament.
He stated that the MPs who were affected were Alhassan Suhuyini and Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah who represent the Tamale South and Ho West constituencies respectively.
The embassies involved, he disclosed were the Netherlands and United States of America embassies.
The Dutch embassy initially denied Suhuyini but has subsequently granted him the visa following discussions between the two institutions.
For Emmanuel Bedzrah, the Minority Chief Whip said the cause of delay is COVID-19 which has led to a change in their workflow of the US embassy with respect to the granting of visas.
He stated however that there is an assurance that the issue will be resolved expeditiously to allow the MP embark on his trip.
“One was honorable Suhuyini and the other one was honorable Bedzrah. The Bedzrah one was with the US embassy and they came to show that for a very long time they’ve not been issuing visas so there’s a huge backlog and they are working on it. They even mentioned me as an example and assured that he also going through the process.”
Muntaka however warned that the institution of Parliament will not hesitate to confront any embassy which tries to use visas to gag MPs due to their position on the anti-LGBTQ+ bill.
“If they’ll want to punish any member or his family members because of this, obviously we won’t take it lightly. Their businesses here will be affected and we’ll make sure Parliament itself will do everything… even if we have to force them to shut down and go. This is our culture and country and we are not dictating to you so why should you dictate to us? If you have views, our doors are always opened for them to come to us and speak. Their views can always be heard,” he said. – source: Desvid
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