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General News of Friday, 21 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Minority can debate on SOTN despite walking out - Majority Leader


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Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu has said that Members of Parliament are allowed to partake in debates even if they were not present in the chamber during the presentation.

This, he says, is a constitutional mandate.

His comment, made on the floor of Parliament, Friday, was a direct reaction to suggestions the Minority cannot make submissions on president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's 4th State of the Nation Address after staging a walkout during the presentation on Thursday.

According to him, preventing the minority from debating after the staged walkout during the State of the Nation address has to do with morality and not the constitution.

Few days to the presentation, the Minority announced the intent to boycott the occasion citing the delay of their share of the Common Fund for the third quarter of 2019 as the reason.

They argued that the undue delay was a deliberate attempt to deprive them of working effectively and consequently competing fairly with their opponents, especially when the general election is some months away.

On Friday, right after the National Anthem was sang, the side walked out while chorusing the line ‘and help us to resist oppressors rule with all our will and might forever more'.

Attempt appearing for SONA debate, you will see us – Ursula Owusu

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful dared minority members in parliament to attempt making an appearance for the parliamentary debate on the State of the Nation Address at their own peril.

According to her, they have no moral rights to want to sit in the parliamentary debate, most especially because they have no substance for any arguments, when they did not sit in to hear the address in the first place.

She said: “What will they be debating? It is the duty of the speaker to regulate the conduct of members of parliament. You were not part of the presentation of the SONA. You didn’t deem it worth your time to sit and listen to it, what moral right do you have to sit and debate. They should boycott the debate as well. They should do the noble and the honorable thing and follow through this path that they have embarked on.”

“Our leader has made a plea to the speaker that, if they were not here, they not be allowed to debate, it is up to the speaker to determine, but if they attempt it, they will see us in the house.”

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