General News of Thursday, 28 February 2013
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the “true State of the Nation Address” delivered by the Minority in Parliament as “illegal and unconstitutional.”
Members of the Minority, led by Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, addressed the media on Wednesday and presented a 33-page document detailing their impressions of President John Mahama’s State of the Nation Address with a focus on healthcare, education and the economy among other sectors.
They claim President Mahama’s speech last week did not accurately reflect of the State of the Nation.
Speaking on Adom TV Wednesday, Mr. Ablakwa explained that only the President of the Republic of Ghana, as mandated by Article 67 of the 1992 Constitution, should deliver the State of the Nation Address.
“The President shall, at the beginning of each session of Parliament and before a dissolution of Parliament, deliver to Parliament a message on the state of the nation,” the North Tongu MP quoted, adding that, “any other delivered is unconstitutional and illegal.”
Explaining the difference between the Minority’s action and a similar one taken by National Democratic Congress MPs while in opposition in 2001, Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa said the 2001 Minority held a news conference in reaction to then President John Kufuor’s Address but did not issue an Address of its own.
This reaction strategy was used even before the year 2000, he explained, when Minority New Patriotic Party MPs led by J.H Mensah organized a news conference to criticize then President Jerry John Rawlings’s address to Parliament.