19.2.07

Minority NDC calls off Parliament boycott


The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentarians, who began an indefinite boycott of Parliament on February 6 2007 in solidarity with the jailed member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, Mr Dan Abodakpi has called off the boycott and would return to Parliament on Tuesday.
A statement signed in Accra by Mr John Tia, The Minority Chief Whip, said the decision was taken by the Minority Caucus in consultation with the Functional Executive Committee of the NDC at a meeting held in Accra on Monday.
“The Minority caucus has decided to call off its boycott of Parliamentary proceedings which we had earlier embarked upon in solidarity with our colleague, Dan Abodakpi, Member of Parliament for Keta,” the statement said. It said the Caucus meeting considered all the pleas to the Minority, especially that of Mr Abodakpi and all well-meaning Ghanaians. “Accordingly, Members of the NDC Minority in Parliament will as from tomorrow, Tuesday the 20th of February, 2007, resume participation in parliamentary proceedings.”
The Minority thanked “all those who showed concern, solidarity and support for the struggle to fight injustice in this trying period of the country’s democratic dispensation”. NDC MPs described the 10 years’ imprisonment slapped on Dan Abodakpi, Member for Keta, by an Accra Fast Track High Court for causing financial loss to the State as a miscarriage of justice. The NDC said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had not abandoned its declared agenda to use the Fast Track High Courts to destroy the NDC through the use of political trials to jail the Party's leading members and functionaries.
President John Agyekum Kufuor in his State of the Nation Address on February 8 appealed to the NDC MPs to reconsider their boycott of Parliament. Delivering his State of the Nation address to Parliament in Accra, he said: "I make this appeal in the light of the sincerity with which Government is committed to the reconciliation process it has initiated for healing the wounds of the nation and to make for a fresh start." President Kufuor said it was a "sad day" the opposition NDC has chosen to absent themselves.
He said it was also sad that they had resorted to this course of action, apparently in reaction to the judgement of a duly constituted court of law. "It is even sadder that they seem to ignore the fact that the due process of going through appeals, as provided for by the Constitution, is yet to be exhausted in the particular case."GNA

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