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General News
NDC MPs continue boycott of Parliament 2/7/2007
Minority MPs of the National Democratic Congress, NDC, on Wednesday continued with their indefinite boycott of Parliament.

The NDC on Tuesday directed its MPs to resort to the boycott in solidarity with their incarcerated colleague Dan Abodakpi, who was jailed 10 years on Monday for willfully causing financial loss to the state.

The party’s Director of Communications, Mr. John Mahama told Joy News the boycott would continue as long as was necessary, and would not discriminate against personalities or issues.

Asked if the group would be back to the House on Thursday for President Kufuor’s State of the Nation address, Mr. Mahama said that was not likely.

“Whether the most powerful president in the world is coming to address Parliament, a boycott is a boycott and so I don’t think there is an exemption for the State of the Nation address.”

He acknowledged contacts said to have been made by members of the majority NPP to get the boycotting colleagues back into the House and expressed appreciation for that.

He however said the country was getting too politically polarized, a situation he described as unhealthy for both democracy and economic development.

“I think that even in situations where we disagree politically there must be dialogue across the political divide that allows us to put the nation’s interest ahead of all other partisan interests.

“Unfortunately I must say quite emphatically that that has not been achieved. I mean the two leading parties in this country are not talking to each other in any way. There is no dialogue going on and so there is no communication and we probably misunderstand each other and those are some of the results we are seeing.”

“I think that if the president is serious about leaving a legacy, one of the legacies he would want to look at is to leave a nation that is not as polarized as we presently have.”

Asked what it would take to get the boycott rescinded, Mr. Mahama said the judgement was even wrongly timed, coming on the eve of national celebrations that should see a united nation, and since the boycott was to show solidarity with Abodakpi, they have no option but to continue with it.

He said the situation was not the best, however it could be discussed, and pointed out that there were a few things that the party felt aggrieved about.

Political persecution?

NDC MPs expressing solidarity with Abodakpi

“We feel that we are being targeted selectively. I mean if you look at this country and what’s been going on since 2001, and you look at some of the blatant cases of causing financial loss to the state and even outright corruption that the government has turned a blind eye to and when the media and the opposition raise issues about it we are told that go and bring the evidence before they would even investigate it.”

John Mahama said in spite of the obvious lack of will to prosecute cases involving its own members, the government was over zealous in prosecuting cases that involved its opponents, quite against the oath the president swore on his assumption of office.

“The president swore to do justice by all manner of persons, irrespective of political or ethnic affiliation. But when you have a situation where it is like one group is being targeted, and we have several of them still lined up. There are about three or four cases still in the courts and like we said yesterday we expect the worst. And if that is the situation we find ourselves then we need to take steps to ensure that we are not prosecuted into political oblivion.”

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