Mixed reaction of NPP boycott of government business in Ashanti

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The continuous boycott of some Parliamentary businesses by the Minority members in Parliament, has received mixed reactions by a cross section of the public in the Ashanti Region.

While some residents in the region are giving the minority MP’s high thumbs up for their actions, and urging them to continue such boycotts until the determination of the Supreme Court case challenging the 2012 presidential elections, others are calling on them to order by urging them to fully participate in all future businesses of the House.

Mr Charles Robert Amoako, a businessman from Atwima Nwabiagya constituency urged Ghanaians not to begrudge the minority in Parliament for boycotting both the vettings of the President’s nominees and the State of the Nation’s address  .

“They are Parliamentarians and know best, so criticising them for boycotting  the vetting of the President’s nominees and other government businesses are  farfetched” he explained.

Mr Amoako, however, urged the Minority in Parliament to appreciate the quantum of challenges confronting the nation and suspend their boycotts.

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He said since the President’s State of the Nation’s address cuts across all sectors of the economy, it would not be worthwhile if the Minority refused to participate in the debate.

For his part, Mr Paul Kittson Baffour Asamoah, a lecturer, told the Daily Graphic that he fully supported the boycott of the Minority’s action, and therefore encouraged them to continue the boycott as a sign of protest of the disputed 2012 Presidential results which the NPP is contesting at the Supreme Court.

Explaining, he said, since it was the interest of NPP and its constituents that they were representing in Parliament and both the party and constituents  are questioning the legitimacy of the President, participating in any business initiated by the President would not be in the interest of the NPP and the constituencies that elected them into the House.

According to Mr Asamoah, until the Supreme Court legitimises the Presidency of Mr John Dramani Mahama, any attempt by the Minority to participate in businesses he initiates will mean the Minority is totally endorsing his Presidency which is in dispute at the moment.

“ I wish that the Minority will continue to boycott all government businesses until the case pending before the Supreme Court is fully determined.  This is because all businesses in the House are initiated by the Executive, and if the legitimacy of the Executive is under contention , they should not fully participate” he explained further.

A resident at  Asawase, Mr Issaku Mohamed, who disagreed with the boycott questioned the rationale behind it, and how it would fully  benefit the constituencies that elected the MPs.

“ I totally disagree with the actions of the Minorities in Parliament . This is because they were not elected to pursue their selfish interest, but to engage in activities that would enable them scrutinise the operations of the Executive.

It is only when they fully participate in government businesses that their respective constituencies  would appreciate their roles as Parliamentarians ”  Mr Mohammed explained during an interview with Daily Graphic.

Mr Mohammed noted that it would be a great setback to sustainable socio-economic development of the country if the Minority in Parliament continued to ignore public sentiments and stayed out of Parliamentary businesses initiated by the Executive.

Explaining, he noted ,“ it means that, if the Supreme Court was unable to determine the court case  within a four-year period that they are supposed to be in Parliament, then they would have nothing to offer their respective constituencies that elected them to that Honourable House”

Mrs Abena Boakyewaa Amo, a teacher from the Ahafo Ano South constituency , also told the Daily Graphic that the Minority in Parliament were dragging the boycott of some Parliament businesses too far.

She said since they were elected to fully participate in government businesses , it would have been much more fruitful and beneficial to those whose shoulders they rode to Parliament  if they had participated in the vetting of the President’s nominees and the State of the Nation’s address.

“ Because the Minority refused to participate in the vetting of new Ministers, the Majority had a field day and approved all those nominated by the President” she noted, adding “  if they had fully participated, they could have questioned the credentials of some of the nominees and eventually kicked them out”

According to Mrs Amo, since the continuous boycott of the Minority in Parliament would not cause President Mahama  to immediately resign,  they should bank their hope in the Supreme Court while making  their presence in the House  much more prominent.

“  I will encourage them to suspend the boycott and participate in future businesses of the House because boycott or no boycott,  President Mahama has been sworn in as the Chief Executive of the state”.

Story by George Ernest Asare