After staging a walkout on the President Nana Akufo-Addo’s delivery of 2020 State of the Nation Address last week, the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament on Tuesday staged a silent participation in the SONA debate.
“Our principle is that we are not participating in this. We will not be speaking to this,” Minority Chief Whip, Alhaji Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, told the plenary of the House, in Accra.
Citing abuse of power, “autocratic tendencies,” attack on democracy, a proposed compilation of a new voters’ against public outcry, among others, the NDC Caucus walked out on the President just before his presentation.
But on Friday, the day after the walkout, Majority Leader Osei Kyei–Mensah-Bonsu said the Minority could participate in the debate which would begin on Tuesday.
“At the end of the debate, a question will be put and the rules provide that Members who are not in the Chamber when an issue is being discussed, still have the right once they end up in the Chamber to participate in voting.
“What it means is that if members were not in the Chamber to listen to the President, they still technically have the right to contribute to the debate.
“Our laws allow them to do that. The issue may be a matter of morality but that matter will be left to the Minority but technically they cannot be faulted if they want to participate in the debate.”
However on Tuesday, the Minority said, it had waived its right to second the motion for the debate and to participate fully.
Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister for Information moved the motion for the debate the 2020 SONA to begin, but the move was not responded to from the Minority Side, for which the Speaker, Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye demanded to from the Leadership of the Minority what was its position on the motion.
It was there that the Minority Chief revealed that his side would not take part in the debate.
Members of the Minority then began gradually filing out of the chamber leaving some members on the front bench and few others in the chamber.
Some members of the Minority that remained were: Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu; Minority Chief Whip Muntaka; Mr Sam George, MP for Ningo Prampram; Mr Samurl Okedzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu; Mr Inusah Fuseini, MP for Tamale Central and Mr Sampson Ahi, MP for Bodi.
Others were Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane, MP for Nabdam; Mr Edward Abambire Bawa, MP for Bongo; and Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, MP for Adaklu.