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General News Thu, 21 Nov 2002

Gov't condemns NDC's action ...

...Parliament Sits Inspite Of Boycott
Government on Thursday described the action of the Minority NDC group in Parliament to boycott proceedings on the basis of perceived intimidation of its members as a deliberate attempt to divert public attention and create unnecessary tension.

"The purpose of the boycott was to divert public attention from vital national issues, create unnecessary tension and cause dislocation in parliamentary duties".

Mr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, a government spokesperson made this remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Accra.

He said the use of Mr. Dan Abodakpi's prosecution as basis for their unwarranted and unnecessary boycott of Parliamentary proceedings was not a genuine case since due process was being followed and called on them to rescind their decision if they believed in rule of law, probity and accountability.

Mr. Amponsah-Bediako said government was not just interested in taking people to court but in cases where charges are preferred against people in relation to alleged financial misconduct, they would be put before the courts to prove their innocence.

He said the people of this country would give due respect to the NDC if it distanced itself from attempts to cover up colleagues who, in one way or the other misconduct themselves during their tenure of office.

Minority NDC in Parliament on Wednesday began a boycott that would last for the rest of the week.

The NDC group cited "blatant contempt and disregard shown for the privileges and immunities of Parliament and the unjust and discriminatory use of prosecutions as an instrument to intimidate the Minority."

Mr Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader, told the Parliamentary Press Corps, "We have decided, as a first step our highest disapproval for the actions of the Executive by withdrawing from participation in the work of the House for the rest of the week.

Parliament Sits Inspite Of Minority Boycott

Parliament is sitting today inspite of a boycott by members of the NDC minority. Several items on the morning?s agenda have been postponed because the number of MP?s present in the chamber falls below the required quorum of 100. The Minority started their boycott of proceedings in the House on Wednesday accusing government of breaching Parliamentary privileges.

They cited the questioning of some NDC MPs by the security agencies and the trial of others for their alleged corruption. When sitting began on Thursday, there was an initial disagreement over how the boycott was captured in the record of votes and proceedings. Some members disagreed with the clerk of the House who simply recorded that all the NDC MP?s were absent.

But the Speaker, Peter Ala Adjetey insisted that since the House has not been officially informed of the boycott by the Minority, the record that they were absent is correct. The House is taking statements from members of the Majority.

Source: GNA