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Opinions of Wednesday, 20 July 2005

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

Why is the Parliamentary Caucus NDC buried in the Dust of Boycott?

The honourable members of parliament in the NDC have decided to be buried in the dust of boycotts rather engaging in health debate on issues in parliament.

Parliament is the institution set up for representation and debate. It is not an institution of boycotts. It is an institution for decerning opinions, compromise and tolerance and a place where parties and individual MPs do not run-way from issues. I was forced into criticising the NDC, a party which I support and will continue to support because I do not belief that boycotting parliamentary delibration on issues such as the right of ghanaians living abroad to vote and participate in the political process is right. Infact there are problems with extending such rights to Ghanaians abroad. Problems such as the credibility of the voting process, the ability of the electorial commission to adquately suppervise such elections given the resource constrains of the commission are all the lucid problems that even as a Ghanaian living in Canada, who will very much like to exercise my franchise know exist. By not participating and contributing to debate in the house over this issue, the NDC MPs are doing great disservice to Ghanaians and their constituents. I hard Honourable Mahama Ayariga, my friend and brother on radio debating on the same bill that they boycotted. In the debate he mentioned and discussed very important problems relating to bill. What stop the honourable member from making the same debate on the floor of the house. He will be contributing more to the bill then he is doing on radio. The essence of parliamentary democracy is not win all the time. It also involves to contribute, and in the process sharpe the nature of legislation. For instance the bill could be passed, but the government's attention could be drawn to problems surrouding bill or change aspects of the bill to address those problems.

All over world M.P participate in debates, vote on them even if defeated. Sometimes the government might win parliamentary votes, but loss in the court of public opion. Which will help boast the popularity of the opposition party and consequencely win election. Boycotting every issue that the party opposes will not help this course. I will end by urging the NDC MPs to participate in debate and vote on issues, even if they disagree.



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