The Minority in Parliament’s decision to consistently skip legislative proceedings in support of the trial of James Gyakye Quayson, the Member of Parliament for Assin North, has drawn criticism from the African Center for legislative Affairs (ACEPA).
Tuesday’s parliamentary sessions were skipped for the second time by the Minority Caucus as members accompanied a colleague to court.
Speaking on the subject, Dr. Rasheed Draman, Executive Director for ACEPA, stressed the significance of the Minority’s presence in this hung Parliament.
The parliamentary analyst urged the Parliament’s leadership to engage in talks, in order to settle the conflict amicably.
“We saw what happened in the last two budget processes and the kind of spirited defense the Minority mounted in support of most Ghanaians and how that impacted some of the financial bills that were before the House. And so, if they continue to absent themselves in the House, a lot of things are going to get passed in their absence and Ghanaians will be shortchanged in the process.
“We have seen in most democracies that when things come to a halt, it is dialogue that is needed, and so I am counting on the leadership of Parliament to as a matter of urgency look into this matter and have it resolved.”Dr. Rasheed Draman
Patrick Yaw Boamah, the member of parliament for Okaikoi Central, also pleaded with the Minority to reverse its decision to boycott business activities in Parliament as a result of the prosecution of its members.
According to Patrick Yaw Boamah, the Minority must permit Gyakye Quayson’s attorney to handle his prosecution while they are present in Parliament. He declared that the Minority’s absence from the chamber will undoubtedly have an impact on the proceedings and that the situation the country is in is severe.
He emphasized that it is proper for the Minority to exercise its legal rights to support James Gyakye Quayson, who was sworn in a week ago. However, he pleaded with the Minority to rethink its choice because Gyakye Quayson is properly represented by very skilled attorneys who are able to argue his case for him.
“It’s also important that we are measured by what we do with regard to our responsibilities as MPs and as duty demands of us, we ought to be in the chamber to represent the people who voted for us. You can solidarize, but you should not forget your responsibility as an MP.
“It’s a right, a caucus, party decision. But I’m entreating them that there’s a limit to what they do, especially when we have business on the floor to partake.”Patrick Yaw Boamah
Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu To Engage Ato Forson On Minority’s Boycott
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Majority Leader and Minister for parliamentary affairs, said he will discuss the Minority group’s ongoing boycott of parliamentary proceedings on days James Gyakye Quayson is in court with his colleague; Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.
On days when Collins Dauda, Ato Forson, and Gyakye Quayson appear in court, the Minority has decided to boycott House proceedings.
In response to the choice, the Majority Leader called for cooperation between the two sides and characterized the Minority’s actions as regrettable.
“Boycotting proceedings is an unfortunate decision in the House. I hope I will be able to talk to my colleague, and we will move from there and continue with the dialogue that we have been having because we may not agree on everything, but we should still remain one House.”Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu