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10.02.2006 General News

Majority Protests 'Dictatorship'

By Times
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THE Majority in Parliament has protested against "the creeping dictatorship of the Minority Group", in reaction to the Group's announced boycott.

The Majority described as untrue media reports that the Speaker of Parliament has referred Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Deputy Minority Leader, to the Privileges Committee.

They said the Speaker rather referred the letter written by Messrs Lithur Brew and Company, solicitors of Mr Adjaho, to the Privileges Committee and not Mr Adjaho himself.

Mr Abraham Ossei-Aidooh, the Deputy Majority Leader, said this yesterday when addressing a press conference in reaction to an earlier one by the Minority at which they announced a boycott of parliamentary proceedings.

The Minority had explained at their press conference that their boycott of Parliament was precipitated by the unprecedent referral of a letter written for and on behalf of Mr Adjaho to the Privileges Committee.

They further stated that their boycott of Parliament was in protest against the determined effort of the Majority to bulldoze the Representation of the Peoples (Amendment) Bill (ROPAB) through Parliament notwithstanding opposition from other political stakeholders and advice from civil society.

Mr Ossei-Aidooh said the complaint in Parliament on Tuesday by Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, the Deputy Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, derived its legitimacy from Order 28 of the Standing Orders of Parliament which is replicated from Article 122 of the 1992 Constitution.

He said the Committee of Privileges was made up of members of both sides of the political divide and if anyboldy had a problem with the referral, the best place for it was at the committee.

Mr Ossei-Aidooh said in the eyes of Mr Owusu-Ansah the letter from Messrs Lithur Brew and Company threatening the initiation of contempt proceedings against the Speaker was untenable and a breach of Parliament's privileges and immunities.

He said that whether that action was right or wrong should be left with the Privileges Committee to determine. Mr Ossei-Aidooh described Minority's citing the passage of the ROPAB as grounds for the boycott, as a “red-herring” pointing out that the Minority took part in the second reading of the Bill and since then nothing had happened.

He wondered what had then occasioned the Minority statement of “partisan passage of the ROPAB.”

Mr Ossei-Aidooh challenged Minority to go to Parliament if they had anything useful saying, “we are prepared to debate them and compromise when the need arises.” The Majority, he said, would not succumb to the “creeping dictatorship of the Minority,” saying to do so would be a negation of democracy.