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General News of Thursday, 15 May 2014

Source: Graphic Online

Reasons for forum boycott valid – Minority Leader

Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has said despite the widespread criticism against the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for boycotting the National Economic Forum, the party will stand by its decision.

He maintained that the reasons which informed their decision to boycott the forum were valid.

The National Economic Forum is currently going on at Akosombo, where stakeholders have gathered to deliberate on the state of the economy and proffer solutions to solve the economic challenges.

The government, ahead of the forum, clarified that the programme was non-partisan and should, therefore be considered as such.

But the NPP’s boycott has raised questions about the level of polarisation in Ghana’s politics, which is hurting development and hindering national cohesion. The Suame legislator, however, maintained that the party was disrespected for the late delivery of the invitation to the forum.

According to him, not much input could have been made by the NPP if the party had honoured the invitation, considering the limited time it was given to prepare. Mr Mensah Bonsu, on Eyewitness News, indicated that “this is a serious national dialogue and you would expect that at least, some prior information will be given to the personalities involved. Some respect should be given to them so that they will be able to prepare early enough.”

He faulted the government for failing to include the programme content in the invitation; “so what is it that we were even to go and dialogue on? As of yesterday morning, nobody even knew it.”

The Minority leader confessed that he would have loved to be part of the forum “if the invitation came earlier to me with the requisite information. I certainly would have made myself available.”

Asked what the Minority would do if policies agreed on at the forum were brought to Parliament for debate and subsequent approval, Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu stated categorically that “the policy is determined by the ruling administration. It’s not for Parliament to agree or not with a policy. We may critique it.”

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