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22.02.2007 Politics

Don’t Pay Minority For Days Of Boycott

The East Ayawaso Constituency branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has appealed to the Speaker of Parliament to stop the salaries of the Members of Parliament (MPs) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) for the period they boycotted parliamentary sittings.

It also demanded that should the NDC MPs exceed the 15 days mentioned in the country's Constitution, their seats should be declared vacant "without fear or favour".

The Propaganda and Publicity Secretary of the constituency, Chief Inspector Alhaji Mohammad Alidu (retd), who made the appeal at a news conference in Accra' said the proposed withdrawal of MPs' salaries and declaration of their seats vacant would send a clear message to the MPs that they were elected to represent the interests of their constituents but not to serve the interest of any individual.

According to him, the NDC MPs' boycott of the sittings of the House and the Committee for Joint Action's (CJA's) planned procession on March 6, 2007, were calculated attempts "to disrupt the Golden Jubilee celebrations" and consequently destabilise the country.

The NDC MPs embarked on the boycott last week following the conviction of their colleague, Mr Dan Abodakpi, MP for Keta.

Chief Inspector Alidu contended that the boycott amounted to interfering with the work of the judiciary which was an independent organ of the government.

"Even more unfortunate was the fact that their boycott stemmed not from any constitutional abuse, but purely on the grounds of disagreement with a judicial decision-a decision by another independent arm of the state", he said.

Also, he said, the boycott was "a blatant slap" on the face of the country's avowed principle of separation of powers.

Chief Inspector Alidu noted that when one party in a case disgreed with the decision of a court of law, that party was entitled to an appeal which could go to the Supreme Court.

Besides, he said presidential pardon could be sought or the case could end up at one of the sub-regional, regional or international human rights adjudicating institutions.

Chief Inspector Alidu, who is also a member of the Greater Accra Regional Research and Communication Committee of the NPP, said it was the same legal processes that Mr Tsatsu Tsikata had been resorting to for the past six years.

He, therefore, wondered whether the legal luminaries of the NDC "are looking for justice, playing political mischief, setting the stage for subversion of state and constitution"?

Touching on the CJA's planned demonstration, he said it was a cynical ploy to scatter the 50th anniversary celebration and to plunge the country into conflict.

Story by Musah Yahaya Jafaru

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