NDC MPs Boycott Parliament For Quayson


Parliament was adjourned less than one hour after it convened yesterday due to the absence of opposition lawmakers who abandoned the House to support the MP for Assin North in his court trial.

James Gyakye Quayson is facing forgery and perjury charges in connection with alleged offences committed in the run-up to the 2020 Assin North parliamentary election.

He pleaded not guilty to five counts of forgery of passport or travel certificate, knowingly making a false statutory declaration, perjury, and false declaration for office.

The NDC Minority indicated in a statement that the boycott of yesterday’s sitting was to “accompany and solidarise with two members of the caucus, namely Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, Minority Leader, and James Gyakye Quayson, MP for Assin North.”

The statement, which was signed by Kwame Governs Agbodza, Minority Chief Whip, indicated, “The two are due to appear in court this morning [referring to Thursday] in their respective ongoing prosecutions by the Attorney General and the NPP Government.”

“The Minority stands united with our colleagues, and as such will not be able to honour the business of the House today,” the statement noted.

It added, “This is the beginning of a series of actions that the Caucus will be embarking on to end the ongoing persecution of the Minority Leader himself, the Hon. James Gyakye Quayson and the Hon. Collins Dauda.”

On July 4, 2023, the Minority Leader served notice that his side would withdraw from Parliament in order to deny the House quorum to conduct public business if the government did not drop the charges against James Gyakye Quayson, the newly elected MP for Assin North.

The threat followed the swearing-in of the Assin North MP. Dr. Ato Forson accused the government of harassing opposition lawmakers, particularly Mr. Quayson.

“We wish to reiterate the point that amidst persecution, cooperation will suffer,” the Minority statement said.

Relations between the governing NPP and opposition NDC have been strained, often leading to an impasse during Parliament sessions.

Meanwhile, despite the briefness of yesterday’s session, the House was able to undertake some public business, including the presentation of reports and the first reading of the Narcotics Control Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

Reports of the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the Criminal Offences (Amendment) Bills as well as the Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill were also presented.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House