The Minority in Parliament says it is yet to decide if it will participate in discussions concerning the 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday or not.
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This comes after the Majority in Parliament vowed not to allow them participate in any debate associated with the fourth SONA presented to the House after they walked out of the House.
During an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story, legislator for Tamale Central, Inusah Abdulai Fuseini, indicated that the opposition’s walkout did not mean it would exclude itself from discussing the President’s Address.
In response to whether the Minority will participate in discussions concerning the Address since they walked out, Mr Fuseini said, “we are yet to decided.”
“You don’t have to listen to the President to debate his speech. [Besides,] there is no principle in Parliament that says that when you walk out of Parliament on the President or any other person you cannot debate what the person has said,” he clarified.
He noted that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2013 boycotted the former President John Dramani Mahama’s first SONA but that did not prevent them from debating it.
“They [the Majority] think that per their own personal idiosyncrasies they can rewrite the orders of Parliament,” he said.
He further dared: “I challenge anybody to show me an order of Parliament, a principle established by parliamentary practice that when you refuse to take part in SONA you cannot debate it.”
The Minority on Thursday staged a walkout protest ahead of the President’s SONA.
Last week, the opposition promised to boycott the 2020 State of the Nation Address should government fail to release some five per cent of the District Assemblies’ Common Fund.
Commenting on this, Mr Fuseini revealed that the reason stated earlier by the Minority was just a ruse since there were more critical issues happening in the country than five per cent Common Fund.
“The issue of boycotting the SONA was never about Common Fund not being paid. But we are living in Parliament we know what Parliamentarians can do.
“They [Majority] try to second guess your intentions and bring people closer to you to know what you are thinking. But this time they never got to know what we were planning,” he said.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, on the other hand, was disappointed at the actions of the Minority in Parliament.
“I think it is an embarrassing thing that has happened today, we need to pull the brick at this point in time and ensure that these things that have the tendency to undermine the pillars of our democracy are stopped. And that we all come around the table and do the proper thing,” he said.