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General News of Thursday, 19 January 2006

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Govt to take over duties of 'Drug MP'?

The Majority Leader in Parliament, Hon. Felix Owusu Agyepong, has siad that the government will take over the duties of the 'absent' member of Parliament (MP) for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng, and thus there is no need to replace him now.

The ruling NPP MPs and the opposition NDC MPs are debating on whether or not the busted MP should be replaced through a bye-election. Amoateng is currently remanded in a United States (US) prison pending his trial for allegedly possessing a controlled substance called heroin.

The majority Leader stated in parliament that, the rules of the House must be applied in the case of Mr Amoateng and that until he was found guilty it would be wrong to judge him. Consequently, he sees no reason why Amoateng should be replaced. Meanwhile, the government can take over his duties, i.e represent the people of Nkoranza North in Parliament

The Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Doe Adjah says the excuse being given by the majority is "lousy and untenable".

In an interview with a local radio station, Adjaho, said the distinction between the Legislature and the Executive is clear and must not be misrepresented at any time whatsoever, since the two arms of government are independent of each other.

The MP for Ave-Avenor further called on Parliament to take a circumspective look at the Eric Amoateng case in order to make sure the right procedures are followed in resolving the situation.

He said the people of Nkoranza cannot be deprived of representation in Parliament and so the urgent steps must be taken to make sure that their social, political and economic needs are taken care of. He said the Majority were being mischievous by insisting that Hon. Amoateng was still an MP. He attributed the New Patriotic Party?s (NPP) insistence to being scared of losing a bye election due to their sinking image.

Amoateng is set to appear before court on January 23, 2006