The Minority in Parliament has chosen to keep mute during discussions on the floor of the House, but the new posture will cost the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The ‘sit and watch’ attitude adopted by the NDC Members of Parliament could be likened to the boycott of the 1992 Parliamentary election by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its alliance.
The protest by the opposition political parties triggered by suspicions of vote rigging and leading to the infamous paper ‘Stolen Verdict’ affected the popularity of the NPP at the grassroots level. The party was literarily in opposition twice both at the presidency and legislature levels.
The NDC won 189 out of the 200 seats in Parliament at the time, providing a platform for the then government to had its way for four years without any credible opposition.
I am not against all forms of protests in the House because I know they are part of the parliamentary tools used to get one’s voice heard and respected. But any protest that will prevent you from taking part in discussions of national importance is clearly a bad one.
Every government needs to be closely monitored and checked to avoid governance excesses that are likely to affect the development of any country. Unfortunately, in Ghana, both the NPP and NDC have proven to Ghanaians that they need to be watched when they are in government.
But politics has never been a friendly game where one’s opponent will pity him at the least provocation. It is what it is. Politics. Seriously politicking. It is a competition of ideas but usually, the one who wins has the necessary muscle namely financial and numbers.
The fact that the report of the Special Investigative Committee that probed the alleged sale of presidential seats to expatriate businesses did not capture the observations of the Minority side does not mean the opposition work must be put on hold.
If there is any credit to go round it has to be given to the Majority and president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for allowing some corruption allegations levelled against the government to be investigated.
We had several of such allegations against some appointees of the John Mahama regime but none attracted a probe. Open your eyes and give the credit. Sadly, the leaders of the Minority have demonstrated by their repeated misjudgment that they are not worth following.
“They think that Ghana belongs to them and they can work without us,” Deputy Minority leader James Avedzi said referring to the Majority after they declared the sit-down strike on Wednesday. But he didn’t understand his own statement.
With the Minority commanding 106 out of 275 seats in Parliament, it is apparent the Majority can do everything in the House without needing any help with its 169 seats. The NPP MPs can themselves for the quorum needed before the commencement of business in the House.
Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu and his colleagues must swallow their pride and go back to work because they are paid to do just that. Ghanaians have allowed the lawmakers to key on their conscience for far too long. We need to vote out people who are motivated by party interest rather than national interest.
The sit-down protest by the NDC MPs is a classic situation of partisan interest over national interest and Ghanaians must oppose that in the strongest terms.
But apart from the country that will be robbed of a major opposition in Parliament, the NDC will be the major loser. After suffering a major defeat in the 2016 general elections because of heartless economic mismanagement and an avalanche of debts, the party needs to reconnect with voters including its own supporters before the next polls.
With a Minority that appears divided more than the actual political divides in the House, the NDC might be on its way to another terrible upset if remedial measures are not put in place in the short term.
The author, Austin Brakopowers is a Broadcast journalist at Joy99.7 and views expressed here are exclusively his and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Multimedia Group Limited or Myjoyonline.com. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com
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