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09.02.2006 General News

We will not denigrate the rights of The Minority - Majority


Accra, Feb 09, GNA - The Majority in Parliament on Thursday said it would not pursue any agenda to denigrate the rights of the Minority in Parliament.

It said, however, that it would not kowtow to the whims and caprices of inconsistent people, who are purposed to obstruct the governance of this country.

The Majority was reacting to an earlier press conference held by the Minority accusing them of "wanton and flagrant disrespect for Minority rights."

The two groups in Parliament held their press conferences as a sideshow to the second reading of the Representation of the Peoples' (Amendment) Bill, leading to a legal tussle initiated by Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Deputy Minority Leader and subsequent boycott of Parliament by the Minority.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Mr Abraham Osei-Aidooh, who led a panel of New Patriotic Party (NPP) members, said the Majority did no wrong in pushing through the second reading.

He said the Minority Leader, Alban Bagbin had close to two hours to make his representation as his members sat through the entire process during the second reading of the Bill.

Mr Osei-Aidooh described the Minority assertion that the Majority was determined to rush and bulldoze the Bill through Parliament, notwithstanding sensible advice as a paradox.

"Is it not paradoxical that the people, who have taken Parliament to court for spending too much time on the Bill, are the very ones who are now saying that the Majority is rushing through or bulldozing their way in Parliament?"

He said the Minority Leader himself had expressed regret and shock in United Kingdom when he heard that his colleagues had told the media of their disassociation from the Bill.

The Deputy Majority Leader said although the Minority members of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs were actively involved in the work of the Bill they suddenly abandoned the course due to unexplained reasons.

On the purported serving of the writ of summons on the Speaker, Mr Osei-Aidooh quoted Erskine May, an authority on parliamentary practice and procedure, which states: "Sending a letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons is very indecent and insolent.

"If they have anything useful let them come to Parliament, we are prepared to debate them and compromise when the need arises. "We will never succumb to this creeping dictatorship of the Minority. That will be a negation of democracy." 09 Feb. 06