Dr. Rasheed Draman, executive director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), has informed the Minority that they would have to rethink their decision to abstain from attending parliament in solidarity of its members who are facing legal proceedings.
The boycotts won’t last, according to Dr. Draman, particularly if the lawsuits take a very long time to move through the courts.
It could be challenging to continue, especially if the cases take a very long time to resolve, as is the situation with many instances in our nation. The NDC caucus cannot afford to stay absent from parliament for that long, in my opinion. Therefore, it might be important for them to reconsider this approach, Dr. Draman remarked on Thursday, July 6, on the Ghana Tonight programme on TV3.
On Thursday, July 6, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in parliament skipped the session to allow its members to support and accompany two of its members: the minority leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, and the representative for Assin North, James Gyakye Quayson.
The Attorney General and the NPP Government’s separate continuing legal cases against the two involved court appearances.
The Minority is united with our colleagues and, as a result, will not be able to honour the business of the house today, according to a statement from Minority Chief Whip Kwame Agbodza.
The Minority Leader himself, the Hon. James Gyakye Quayson, and the Hon. Collins Dauda are now being persecuted. This is the first in a series of steps that the Caucus will take to put an end to this. We want to stress once more that collaboration will suffer in the face of persecution.
Their Leader, Ato Forson, had earlier stated that the caucus had decided to stand with James Gyakye Quayson until the conclusion of his legal proceedings.
On Tuesday, July 4, right after Mr. Gyakye Quayson took his oath of office as an MP, he said this.
Exact one week after he won the by-election that was called as a result of his deposition by a Supreme Court decision, Quayson took the oaths of allegiance and membership in the House of Representatives as delivered by Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin. It was claimed that he was elected illegally.
Dr. Ato Forson provided notice that the Minority will not participate in House business on days the Assin North member will be in court for his daily trial in his remarks following the swearing-in, which was well-attended by friends and relatives of Mr. Gyakye Quayson.
“Dear Speaker, I would want to provide notice that the whole Minority Group will go to court with our colleague today and on any subsequent days that he is required to attend,” he said.
“Whenever our colleague is in court, we stand in solidarity with him. Mr. Speaker, we will abstain from taking part in House business at such times, and if court procedures are scheduled for today, we will leave the chamber immediately after this ceremony.”
On Tuesday, July 4, the High Court heard the case, but it was continued to Thursday, July 6.
In light of the ongoing trial, the Minority is adamant that it will be challenging to get cooperation in the House.
Cooperation will undoubtedly suffer in the face of persecution. A word of wisdom, Mr. Speaker, is in Assin North.