NPP MPs should stay out of Parliament-Baba Jamal (Saturday, January 26, 2013, pg 16)

THE Member of Parliament (MP) for Akwatia, Mr Baba Jamal, says his colleagues on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side should stay away from all Parliamentary work and benefits until the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the case pending before it.

Justifying his argument on Okay FM’s Morning Show,Mr Jamal said the NPP MPs had no business in Parliament, if they decided to choose what to participate in.

“They cannot continue enjoying the privileges of Parliament but choose and pick what role to play in the House,” he said.

Mr Jamal’s remarks comes on the heels of a boycott of vetting of ministers designate by the NPP.

The usual drama and heat generated by the process was largely absent on Thursday when Mr Seth Terkper, minister-designate for Finance and Economic Planning; Ms Hannah Serwa Tetteh, minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and Alhaji Collins Dauda, minister-designate for Water Resources, Works and Housing took turns to answer questions from the Appointments Committee.

The NPP leadership, led by Nana Akufo-Addo, is in court seeking to nullify the declaration of President John Mahama as the winner of the December Presidential elections.

The NPP had in a statement said “the current John Mahama administration is temporary and transient and would not last beyond the determination of the case.”

The statement signed by Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the party chairman, said even though the party recognised that its MPs had a responsibility to represent the interest of their constituents, the “NPP would however not participate in any deliberations and decisions on matters which would evaporate upon cessation of John Mahama's administration.”

But Mr Jamal, who is also a member of the Appointment Committee, said the NPP’s decision to boycott the work of Parliament was akin to short-changing the country.

He said it was ironical that the NPP MPs were quick to receive benefits that came with being MPs but were dragging their feet when it came to doing their work as MPs.

According to him, the NPP MPs had not taken into consideration the fact that it was not only their party supporters who voted for them in the December elections.

He wondered how the NPP would feel in the unlikely event if the court declared the NPP winner of the elections and the NDC decided to boycott Parliament.

Some individuals and groups have urged the NPP to rescind their decision and join the process to give the party’s democratic credentials a firm footing.

The Ghana Bar Association (GBA), for instance, called on the leadership of the NPP in Parliament to reconsider its resolve not to participate in the vetting.



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