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27.02.2006 General News

President's action a slap in the face ...


..of mediating groups - Bagbin Accra, Feb. 27, GNA - The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority in Parliament on Monday expressed deep regret at the President's "hasty action in assenting" to the Representation of People (Amendment) Bill.

"The President's action was a slap in the face of mediating religious and civil society groups and was intended to curtail further dialogue on the controversy that has dogged the passage of the ROPAB in Parliament."

Mr Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader at a press conference in Parliament said the President had 21 days to make up his mind before giving his assent to the Bill and wondered why "barely 24 hours after it was unilaterally passed by the Majority, he signed it."

He said the Minority Caucus in Parliament has mandated its leadership to hold further consultations with other minority parties and mediating civil society groups on the implication for dialogue following the hasty assent.

"The Minority Caucus meeting held today to review the Minority's decision to boycott Parliament was adjourned to reconvene later after consultations have been held."

Mr Bagbin said the Minority has declared its support to the anti-ROPAB demonstration planned for Thursday and has resolved to fully participate in it.

"It called on all lovers of peace and constitutional democracy to join the march on Thursday to protest the growing tyranny of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government."

The Minority Leader said the demonstration would be solidarity with the 27 Ghanaians injured by "unprovoked and brutal police assault on peaceful demonstrators during the anti-ROPAB demonstration of February 21, 2006."

"It would also be in protest against the NPP government persecution of the organisers of that demonstration."

On when they would return to Parliament, Mr Bagbin said: "Until we are asked to return to Parliament by our constituents, the status quo remains the same."

"As you are aware we are still consulting on the next step to take."