Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is angry at the Minority in Parliament’s failure to officially inform the leadership of the House about its decision to abstain from the debate on the State of the Nation Address.
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu said the Minority failed to show courtesy by abstaining from the debate.
“The discourtesy in it [abstinence] is that whereas I approached them formally to inquire whether they will debate and they had assured that they will debate when they elected not to debate, they failed to even formally communicate to me and that is the tragedy.”
He was however quick to add that the Minority’s abstinence will in no way affect the relationship between leaders of the Majority and Minority in Parliament.
“I think one episode should not mar relationship and do not forget you are the leader and you should play the role of a mother. You should be fatherly and be accommodating of everybody so yes, I was a bit ruffled by that but I am not rattled and I am not shattered by what behaviour they put up. We continue to reach out to them. We remain one house. We remain one Parliament. The fact that one person has gone errant on one occasion does not mean we should sever relation with the person.”
Repeat of events
The Minority’s abstinence followed the opposition caucus’ boycott of the State of the Nation Address last week.
Even though the Minority MPs were present in the Chamber of Parliament, Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, told the House, they had waived their right to second the motion for the debate and to participate fully.
“Our principle is that we are not participating in this. We will not be speaking to this,” Mr. Mubarak said on the floor.
Addressing the press last week, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said the opposition to this protest was informed by the government's refusal to implement all the recommendations made by the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, alleged interference in the activities of the Electoral Commission in the compilation of a new voters' register and the perceived attack of businesses owned by National Democratic Congress members.
He also said the boycott of the address itself was to resist “the fascist and authoritarian tendencies” of the Akufo-Addo government.
However,Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu last week said the Minority's actions had no basis.
“It is their party's position. It is their right to attend or not except that on this matter, there is absolutely no basis for this conduct,” the Majority Leader said.