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General News of Wednesday, 30 August 2006

Source: TheHeritage

Amoateng's Resignation Is Null and Void

... People of Nkoranza North Denied Representation
The Majority Leader and Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Felix Owusu Adjapong, has demystified circumstances surrounding the rejection of the purported resignation letter from the embattled Member of Parliament for Nkorranza North, Eric Amoateng, by the Speaker of Parliament, Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes.

Mr. Amoateng, who is currently in detention in the US, for allegedly trafficking substances suspected to be cocaine after his arrest last November in America, was reported in the media recently to have written a resignation letter, which the Speaker rejected.

According to Mr. Owusu Adjapong, who is the MP for Akyem Swedru, the MP’s resignation did not go through laid down procedures of Parliament, and could not be accepted as such. He said the nation has charted a course in rule of law and democracy; therefore, a resignation letter from an MP must be addressed to the Speaker. But that of Mr. Amoateng was addressed to someone and rather copied to the Speaker, and that was why he rejected it.

In his view, Mr. Amoateng like all other suspects, had the right to remain innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of jurisdiction; therefore the call for a bye-election now in his area would not be in consonance with the tenets of democracy.

Mr. Owusu Adjapong gave the explanations in reaction to a question at a brief interaction with the press after he opened a four-day workshop aimed at streamlining a blueprint document for the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs at Elmina on Monday. He assured Ghanaians that the government would not hesitate to organise a bye-election at Nkoranza North, if Mr. Amoateng resigned properly or was pronounced guilty by the court, stressing that it would be a stab in the back of democracy to organise a bye-election now.

“We want him to go through the normal process of resignation,” he said. As to whether the people of Nkoranza North are not being left out in the share of the national cake since their mouthpiece is locked up in the USA, Mr. Adjapong said his area is not being left out as he personally ensured that more roads were constructed for the people.

Earlier, Mr. Adjapong said his ministry played a vital role in the democratic dispensation of the country by broadening civil participation in government. The objective of the workshop that was supported by the UNDP was to deliberate on how the ministry would help deepen democracy in Ghana. Participants were drawn from ministries and other departments.