The minority in parliament has warned the majority caucus not to count on cooperation from the group, following the daily prosecution of James Gyakye Quayson, the member of parliament for Assin North.
On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal rejected a motion made by Gyakye Quayson’s legal team to overturn the High Court’s decision to prosecute the lawmaker every day.
The minority leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, however emphasized that the verdict violates the constitutional clause that states that a member of parliament may not miss more than fifteen sessions of the house.
He therefore issued a warning that the Minority would never work with the Majority on anything in the House, as long as James Gyakye Quayson’s prosecution was ongoing. He added that since Gyakye Quayson’s persecution has intensified, no one should expect any kind of collaboration from the Minority caucus as its future plans would likewise not be made public.
“But what we can say is that all options are on the table, and they should not expect cooperation from us. I won’t go into the details but let them be assured that amidst persecution, cooperation will suffer and that is the position of the Minority.
“Let Ghanaians be aware that the NPP doesn’t have the moral right to talk about patriotism because if you are patriotic, you will not abandon Parliament and use state resources to be campaigning as the Vice President is doing. So let the public be aware that, it is not the NDC members of Parliament who do not want to do government business, but it is the NPP members.”Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson
Minority Absence Not Halting Parliamentary Business
The minority in parliament claimed that the chamber may still undertake business, in spite of its absence.
The group further asserted that even while it forgoes chamber activity in order to stand in solidarity with its colleagues who are being prosecuted in court, the Majority caucus’ 137 members may constitute a quorum for conducting business.
Speaking on the floor of the legislature, Governs Agbodza, the minority chief whip, urged the majority caucus to stop attributing the failure of the house to undertake parliamentary business to the boycott of the NDC lawmakers.
He explained that there were only 75 colleagues in the chamber, which was insufficient to conduct business. As a result, he was surprised to hear the Majority Chief Whip say in public that the Minority Caucus’ absence was impeding parliamentary business.
“You know that at your back, many colleagues are currently out there campaigning. In fact, one person who is a key person to solve our problems today is Bawumia, he is not at the office.
“What has the absence of Minority members who actually said we were not coming to work yesterday, got to do with the reason why your number could not be up to the required number? So, the problem is yourselves. If you produce your 138 members tomorrow morning, we shall provide our 137 members tomorrow morning.”Governs Agbodza
In the meantime, Rockson-Nelson Dafeamekpor, the member of parliament for South Dayi, expressed worry over the lack of quorum to undertake business for today and called for adjournment.
Also, as stated by Malik Basintale, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) deputy communications officer, the minority caucus has never said publicly that it will perpetually boycott parliamentary proceedings.
He added that the Minority in Parliament had only stated that it will not attend sessions of parliament, when its colleagues are scheduled to attend court appearances for hearings on their individual cases.
Malik Basintale averred he found it difficult for anyone to suggest that the Minority are being unprincipled when on other days, and during committee meetings, they showed up in the House.