NPP Minority Boycott Is Denting Ghana’s Image … Says NDC Group
By Phyllis D. Osabutey
A GROUP calling itself the Probity and Accountability Platform (PAP) says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) minority members in parliament’s boycott of the vetting of ministerial appointees is creating a horrendous caricature of the country’s revered democracy and governance.
The group believes that though it is within the ambit of the law for NPP and all its membership to go to court if they have any issue with the conduct or outcome of any election, that constitutional right should not in any way impede the business of government.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, yesterday, the Media Liaison Officer of the PAP, Kafui Mensah said even though the NPP are in court, the arms of government, including the legislature, judiciary and the executive must continue to function, until the courts decide otherwise.
“We are, therefore, getting increasingly embarrassed by the coup d’etat mentality in which the NPP is using the members of parliament, who stood on its ticket to undermine and sabotage the peace, and to an extent, the sovereignty of this country”, he noted.
He pointed out that though the 2004 elections that ushered former President J.A Kuffuor into his second term in office was challenged by the late Squadron Leader C.M.K Sowu, Rojo Mettle Nunoo and Co, government business was not in any way obstructed.
He stated that the Electoral Commission (EC) is the only institution legally mandated to conduct, supervise and declare election results in Ghana, and has organized elections since 1992.
According to him, in all the elections, the national interest of the masses and the development of the nation has been the fulcrum, hence “the EC has since gained enormous credibility both locally and internationally, through its commitment to hard work, transparency, capacity and consensus building.”
He said as ordinary citizens, they were concerned about the NPP minority action because it would affect the development, governance and nation building processes. This, they believed would eventually affect all Ghanaians irrespective of their political affiliations.
He observed that the NPP parliamentarians who stood on the NPP ticket were voted for by most likely the same people who voted for the NPP flag bearer, Nana Akuffo Addo, and the election conducted by the same institution and personalities.
He averred that “these parliamentarians have accepted the NDC has more seats than they do, hence elected the speaker and first deputy speaker from the Majority side of the House, and lobbied for themselves the second deputy position which was given them without any struggle. As such, they agreed to be sworn in and by implication, they have agreed they are in minority and that they had the minority vote in the recently held election.”
In view of this, “it baffles us, as to why they find it so difficult to accept that the presidential candidate who stood on the same ticket with them also had minority vote, thus lost the election”, he indicated.
Furthermore, he questioned why the NPP minority in parliament were attending end of service benefits committee and car loan meetings yet were boycotting the vetting committee sessions that would validate ministers.
He lamented that “they are collecting a whooping GH¢50,000 for rent allowance as MPs, yet they have gone missing when needed to work.” He added that the minority MPs participate in things that benefit them directly, but boycott anything that would benefit ordinary Ghanaians, saying, this is unpatriotic and must stop.
The group called on the MPs to rescind their decision to boycott the vetting committee sessions and perform their duties as expected of them, while awaiting the verdict of the court.
However, if they truly want to sympathize with Nana Addo, “we recommend they resign outright from parliament and open up for by-election in the 121 constituencies. This we believe would give them enough time to show solidarity and would be a stronger show of support to their flag bearer, a gesture we strongly believe Nana Addo will appreciate”, he noted.
He said if they could not do that, the MPs should stop the bluff and public display of double standard, and go back to the House and do the work for which they are paid.
“This dishonorable attitude is too irresponsible to be coming from supposed honourable members of parliament, most of them we know, know better.”
They called on civil society organizations and individuals to add a reasonable amount of pressure to their call, saying, “This call is urgent and must have all the attention it deserves. Ghana is the only home we have and we must place our nation building process in priority position and teach the young ones to also do likewise.”
Also, the MP for Hohoe North, Dr. Bernice Heloo, said the decision of the NPP MPs is morally wrong and not in line with the oath that they took to serve the nation.
She held that MPs have to be accountable to their constituents and so the refusal to participate in the vetting is a renege on the part of the MPs to perform part of their functions.
“We all swore an oath of allegiance to the government and swore to uphold the integrity of the country, support the country and take part in all issues that will lead to the development of the nation”, she stressed.
She observed that the vetting of ministers is one of those functions so “there is a neglect of an aspect of the job we have been asked to do.”
According to her, the matter is in court and has not been determined yet so it is important for them to take part in all the actions that are necessary or “let us know their stand, if they will not take part in any other functions as required of them.”
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