Minority boycotts Parliamentary business

Mr  James  Avedzi

Mr James Avedzi

The Minority caucus of Parliament yesterday went on a ‘sit-down strike’ by abstaining from the public business in the House.

They claimed the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, had used “abusive language” on them.

It comes on the heels of the acrimony which characterised the presentation of the report by the special Committee tasked to probe the ‘cash for seat’ scandal, the debate and the subsequent approval and its adoption.

After four of its members had their questions answered by the Ministers of Health, Education, Water and Sanitation  during the private business session, the Minority side went dumb at the commencement of public business.

They neither supported a motion nor commented on a statement until the House, which reconvened at about 11:00 a.m, adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.

Mr. James Klutse Avedzi, the Deputy Minority Leader, speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times after adjournment yesterday said they decided to be quite because “the Majority [does] not think that the views of the Minority is not relevant and important to the business of the House.

“That is why in the cash for seat report, they refused to accommodate the views of the Minority members on that committee and when we protested and walked out, they used the opportunity to say all sort of things about us,” the Ketu North MP said.

Asked what may have ruffled their feathers, Mr. Avedzi said “If they use the word unhonourable [on an honourable MP], is it a complement or a negative connotation?” he asked.

He said the Minority would return to full business of the House “If we think that we will say anything that the Majority considers relevant.”

 

The Majority Leader during the debate of the ‘cash for seat’ report described the conduct of the Minority members on the Committee as “dishonourable and dishonestly.”

 

The Minority walked out of Parliament on Tuesday during the debate of the report on the grounds that their views were not incorporated and that they did not get the report in time to properly digest it.

At a hurriedly organised press conference to present their side of the findings, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, decried what he said were “insults” on them by the Majority Leader and served notice that he would respond appropriately for “he [Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu) is not the repository of insults.”

But the Majority in a separate interview with this paper said he stands by his comments on the conduct of the Minority.

“I will repeat same anytime given the sequence of events. Am not saying that that person is eternally or chronically dishonest but that conduct is one that could be described as dishonest and I insist on that,” the Suame lawmaker stated.

He maintained the Minority acted in bad fate in handling affairs at the committee level unduly delaying the report.

In his view, the Minority, repeatedly, had not followed the rules because “the burden is on the Chairman of the Committee to produce the report” in line with Standing Order 210 though members of the Committee have the right to make their inputs.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI 

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