General News of Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) group in Parliament Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says he and his colleagues reserve the right not to attend when President John Dramani Mahma visits the House on Thursday February 21, 2013, to deliver his first State of the Nation Address.
The leadership of NPP Parliamentarians will meet today to determine whether or not to participate in the State of the Nation Address.
The Minority NPP are challenging the results of the 2012 presidential election, of which President Mahama was declared the winner, in the Supreme Court.
They claim the victory was engineered through gross electoral manipulation and are asking the Supreme Court to nullify the results as declared by the Electoral Commission.
Until the declaration is made, NPP MPs have refused to take part in any Parliamentary duties that relate directly to the President.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, the Minority Leader declared that “it is the prerogative of a Member or a group to be in attendance or not to be in attendance… It is not the President who is inviting us; he is visiting us and we reserve the right to be in attendance or not.”
Responding to criticisms that the MPs’ action may not reflect the sentiments of their constituents who they represent in Parliament, he retorted that they are not obliged to consult their constituents on every issue on the floor of the House before they decide to participate.
He explained, however, that MPs sometimes draw on the views of their constituents on specific issues.
According to the opinion of the majority of his or her constituents, he said, an MP could decide to take a stand on a particular matter before the House.