The rift among lawmakers triggered by the cash-for-seat report appears to be widening following the Minority’s adoption of ‘sit and watch’ attitude towards parliamentary business.
The opposition lawmakers have stayed out of discussions in the House after they accused their Majority counterparts of muzzling their views on issues of national importance.
“They think that Ghana belongs to them and they can work without us [so they can go ahead],” Deputy Minority leader James Klutse Avedzi told Joy News’ Elton Brobbeyin an interview Wednesday.
Deputy Minority leader James Klutsey Avedzi
Tempers have been high in Parliament after the Special Cash-for-seat Investigative Committee submitted its report.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have accused their New Patriotic Party (NPP) colleagues of shielding Trades Minister Alan Kyeremateng in the matter.
The Minority had alleged Mr Kyeremateng extorted some monies from expats in exchange for seats close to president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at last year’s Ghana Expatriate Business Awards (GEBA).
Trades Minister Alan Kyeremateng
The Trades Minister has denied any wrongdoing and the president has said nothing untoward was done in the matter.
But the apparent unity among lawmakers that resulted in the setting up of a five-member Committee was abandoned after the cash-for-seat report was laid before the House.
The two Minority members on the committee have accused their majority counterparts of refusing to capture their observations in the report.
Mr Avedzi said there were some issues with documents submitted to the Committee by event organisers, Millennium Excellence Foundation (MEF).
MEF President Ashim Morton
He accused MEF President Ashim Morton of forgery, saying the documents he submitted to the Committee were different from the ones he sent to expat businesses to raise funds for the event.
“They [expat businesses] produced copies of such documents and when you verified that document with what Ashim Morton tendered in, there were clear disparities,” he said, adding the Minority’s ‘sit and watch’ attitude will help it.
Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story, Chairman of the cash-for-seat Committee Ameyaw Kyeremeh maintained he followed laid down procedures in the drafting and submission of the report.
He dismissed claims of cover-up in the matter, saying the Minority has the right to desist from taking part in discussions on the floor of Parliament.
“They took a decision to walk out of parliament which is a parliamentary tool…[so] we owe them no apology whatsoever,” he said.
Tamale North MP Alhassan Suhuyini
But Tamale North MP Alhassan Suhuyini slammed the Majority over its posture since the seventh Parliament was ushered in.
“The intolerance, the disrespect and the non-accommodating posture is not the way to build a country and that is the posture the Minority have had to endure,” he said, adding Tuesday’s boycott was the climax.
Mr Suhuyini compared the NPP MPs to a headmaster who blatantly disrespects his students because he considers them below him.
But the continued disrespect and intolerance of the Majority will not help government business and it has to change, he said.