Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu has said the Minority Members in Parliament (MPs) had no basis for boycotting the 2020 State of the Nation Address.
Kyei Mensah-Bonsu on Eyewitness News said reasons given by the Minority for the action was moot.
“It is their party’s position. It is their right to attend or not except that on this matter, there is absolutely no basis for this conduct,” the Majority Leader said.
The Minority in giving reasons for its boycott made mention of the Electoral Commission’s plan to compile a new voters’ register.
It cited possible voter suppression in opposition strongholds as the real intention for the new voters’ register.
It also cited the rejection of a number of recommendations made by the Emile Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election as well as the closure of some radio stations as part of reasons for the boycott.
“We cannot help but agree with the US State Department Human Rights report which has raised concerns of possible voter suppression in opposition strongholds as the real intention for the needless and wasteful new voters’ register,” the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu stated when he addressed the media on Thursday.
But Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu rubbished these claims.
How did the boycott occur?
Mr. Mensah-Bonsu pointed out that the idea to boycott the election was initially suggested by the NDC’s National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo.
“I had a hint on Wednesday that their party Chairman came to meet them and came to sell the idea to them to boycott. Well, at their own meeting, they could not come to a fair conclusion because there were some that were not convinced about the reasons they had to cite to boycott [the session].”
“Up to Thursday morning, they were not sure whether to boycott or not to boycott but I got wind of it and contacted my colleague, the Minority Leader that I had heard rumours that this was what they intended to do. I just wanted the basis for that because as far as I am concerned, there was no basis and then he said they were still doing some consultations.”
He further indicated that former President John Dramani subsequently advised members of the Minority against the boycott but they carried on after being urged by the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
“I am told that subsequently, the former President was engaged and he advised that boycotting in his opinion was not the best. Subsequently, the General Secretary of their party attended [the said meeting] and urged them not to attend [the State of the Nation Address]. That is the information that came to me,” he said.