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10.02.2006 General News

Parliament limps on without Minority

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Accra, Feb. 10, GNA - The usual debate, which might have characterised the second reading of the Subvented Agencies Bill in Parliament on Friday had all the 94 Minority members been present in the house, was missing.

It may be early days yet to determine the effects of the absence of the National Democratic Congress Party members in Parliament, as the second reading of the bill took less that 15 minutes, an unusual occurrence, perhaps, had these members been present. Speaker Ebenezer Sakyi-Hughues had an easy tasks presiding over the second reading of the bill with only one contribution from Miss Hildah Addoh, NPP Kwadaso, after the motion for the second reading had been moved and seconded.

The Minority have since February nine, boycotted Parliamentary business until further notice in protest over the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill and a legal suit filed by their colleague in connection with the bill.

Whether by design or destiny, Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Road Transport, who was in the House to respond to five questions, had his work cut short as all the questions stood in the name of the members of Parliament from the Minority NDC.

When the Minister was called by the Speaker to answer the questions, he (the Speaker) had an easy task going through the motion of calling out all the names of Mr Lee Ocran, NDC-Jomoro, Mr Wisdom Gidisu, NDC-Krachi East and three others who were all absent to pose their questions to the Minister.

There were shouts of "absent" "runaway" from the New Patriotic Party MPs as the Speaker went through the exercise of roll call for question time.

"Thank you very much ... you are discharged," said the Speaker to the Road Transport Minister after in view of the absence of the NDC members.

Meanwhile, next week Friday has been set aside by Parliament for the Third Reading of the ROPAB and Ghanaians would have to wait to see whether the Minority would call off their protest and resume their seats in Parliament.