General News of Monday, 24 December 2012

Source: The Herald

NPP MP's To Boycott Swearing-In Ceremony

...But Will Be Back For Cars, Salaries & Allowances After Disgracing Ghana

Credible information reaching The Herald indicate that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its elected Members of Parliament (MP’s) have decided to boycott the inauguration of president-elect John Dramani Mahama on January 7, 2013.

This decision is reminiscent of the boycott of the Consultative Assembly that drafted the 1992 Constitution which later brought Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor to power as president of the Republic of Ghana. It is also reminiscent of the 1992 boycott of the Parliamentary elections by the NPP, after they called the 1992-96 Parliament, a rubberstamp legislative body.

The only difference is that after the boycott of the January 7, 2013 swearing-in ceremony which is expected to be attended by the heads of states from Africa and beyond, diplomats among others, the NPP MPs will be back in the House to take part debates, loan agreements, make car demands and house and fat salaries because they are MPs.

Having won the December 7, 2012 presidential polls, Mr. Mahama is required by the Constitution to be sworn-in on January 7, 2013 as president of Ghana for the next four years.

However, the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP MPs-elect and some leading members of the party who are still licking their wounds sustained as a result of defeat at the polls, have decided to stay away from the swearing-in ceremony as part of their claim that the elections were rigged in favour of the incumbent President.

Interestingly, they are not complaining about the parliamentary elections that have not gone in their favour. Whilst the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 150 seats out of the 275 seats, the NPP has garnered 120 seats, making it the minority component of Ghana’s parliament for the next four years.

A cursory look at Ghana’s election landscape since the inception of the Fourth Republic reveals this feature of the winner of the presidential polls invariably securing majority seats in parliament.

But Nana Akufo-Addo and his men are refusing to acknowledge this fact.

And characteristically of the Busia-Dankwa-Dombo tradition, they are crying wolf where there is none.

The NPP boycotted the 1992 polls and wrote “The Stolen Verdict”. When they suffered defeat again at the 1996 polls the NPP tried to repeat the boycott dose but its cool-headed flagbearer, John Agyekum Kufuor prevailed upon his followers to abide by the verdict declared by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Djan.

Ironically, the preceding elections—2000 and 2004—went in their favour and this time they found nothing wrong with Dr. Afari-Djan so as to accuse him of being biased.

But when again it lost the 2008 elections, the NPP with its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo refused to concede defeat. And this time again Mr. Kufuor brought his wisdom and maturity as a statesman to prevail on Nana Addo and his gang, leading to the concession by the flagbearer that he had lost his bid; the party also lost the majority representation in parliament.

In the run-up to the 2012 polls, the NPP made all kinds of requests as a condition for its participation in the elections.

First was the biometric registration issue followed by the verification facility. Though these requirements swelled up the EC’s budget, it had no option due to the posturing of the NPP than to secure the facilities for the 2012 elections.

Even with the deployment of these facilities, the NPP beaten at the 2012 general elections has now turned around to give other reasons for its defeat, including accusing Dr. Afari Djan of manipulating figures in favour of the incumbent president.

“When will the curtain of this comedy of excuses fall anytime NPP losses election?” a political analyst wondered..

He asked why NPP representatives in parliament would want to abide by and enjoy Constitutional requirements that serve in their interests and would want to boycott those that do not directly serve their interest— for instance, not attending the swearing-in ceremony of the president-elect because he is not its flagbearer?

These MP’s are very co-operative and well-behaved when it comes to issues of the provision of cars, salaries and allowances, but unfortunately try to play the truancy in matters such as what happened last Friday.

“By such a conduct is the NPP leadership serving the nation as it would want its supporters to believe?” he asked Already some NPP MPs last Friday boycotted a ceremony to inaugurate a—three member Advisory Committee set up to assist or advice the Transition Team, chaired by the Speaker of Parliament, her Ladyship Joyce Bamford-Addo.

The other members of the Council are Prof. Ewurama Addy and Prof. Akilakpa Sawyer.

By boycotting this important event, the signal that is being sent out there is not obviously a patriotic one coming from people who call themselves patriots.

“Is the Presidential Transition Act, Act 845 not an instrument piloted by both sides of the House?”

Is about time that the Leadership of the NPP stopped conducting itself in a manner that undermined the credibility of the democratic exercise that Ghanaians have come to accept as the form of governance that they would subscribe to.