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15.12.2005 NPP News

Minority's action undermines democracy - NPP

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Accra, Dec. 15, GNA - The Majority in Parliament on Thursday condemned the Minority's walkout from Parliament when it came to the approval of 60 million dollars loan facility from the Indian Government, saying their action undermined democracy. The 60-million-dollar loan, which has a grant element of 50 percent, a 1.75 percent of interest and repayment period of 25 years would be for rural electrification project and a construction of offices for the Presidency.

Mr. Osei Prempeh, Chairman for the Committee on Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs, addressing the media at the dilapidated building at Flag Staff House, which the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah occupied, said the minority's action was a detriment to the nation. Mr Prempeh said, that attitude showed that if the Minority could not win a debate "they must walk out." He said "about 30 million dollars is free to the country but strangely enough their colleagues on the Minority side stated their objection to the component for the construction of offices of the presidency."

Mr Prempeh described as strange for the minority to argue that the project was not a priority and that the state should use its resources to build the offices ignoring the fact that 50 percent of the loan was grant. He said after 50 years of nationhood, Ghana was still using the colonial edifice called the Castle as the seat of government, a place where successive Heads of State had not found convenient to live there with their families. "It is noteworthy that all countries in the sub-region...have magnificent edifices for their presidency. "...There is the need to build institutions of state and move from the position of building our national institutions on ad-hoc basis," Mr Prempeh noted. He said it was unfortunate that the Minority in their desperation to play politics with the loan walked out of Parliament on the matter rejecting the portion of the loan going for rural electrification, which their constituent will benefit.

Mr Prempeh was flanked by some Ministers of State including Professor Mike Ocquaye, Energy Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Finance and Economic Planning Minister and Mr Kofi Konadu Apraku, Minister for Regional Integration and NEPAD.

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