In an unprecedented turn of events, parliamentary business was abruptly suspended today as a near-empty House greeted the start of proceedings.
The absence of members from the Minority party coupled with a meager presence of Majority members led to the suspension of the session.
As the clock ticked for the designated time for the parliamentary session to commence, an astonishing sight unfolded.
The House was devoid of any members from the Minority party, while the number of Majority members present barely reached double digits. The glaring absence of both parties’ representatives raised eyebrows and sparked concerns among the remaining attendees.
Reacting swiftly to the unusual circumstances, the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, made the decision to suspend the sitting indefinitely.
The decision was met with mixed reactions from the few present members, with some expressing disappointment and frustration while others acknowledged the lack of quorum and the inability to proceed with meaningful deliberations.
The Minority party had previously announced its intention to stand in solidarity with three of its members who are currently facing legal trials.
These trials, related to various offenses, have compelled the affected individuals to prioritize their presence in court over their parliamentary duties.
While the reasons behind the absence of other Minority members remain unclear, speculations abound regarding a potential boycott or other undisclosed factors.
Observers and citizens alike have expressed concern over the implications of such a situation on the governance and legislative processes. The absence of a significant portion of the elected representatives hampers the ability to pass legislation, engage in debates, and hold the government accountable.
The suspension of parliamentary business underscores the pressing need for all parties involved to address the underlying issues and work towards a resolution. The public eagerly awaits further updates on the matter, as the effective functioning of the House is essential for a thriving democracy and the well-being of the nation.
As of now, it remains uncertain when the House will reconvene, and whether efforts will be made to rectify the circumstances that led to today’s near-empty session.
This comes after Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson had announced last week after the swearing-in of the Assin North MP, James Gyakye Quayson, whose trial was on Tuesday, July 11. This among other trials necessitated the absence of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority from the house.
“I wish to serve notice that the entire Minority Group will accompany our colleague to court today and any other day that he is to appear in court,” Dr Ato Forson stated on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
“Mr Speaker, we are solidarising with our colleague and we will not participate in the business of the House anytime our colleague is in court and we will be withdrawing from the chamber after this ceremony if the court processes indeed happen today.”
Another reason for the boycott was said to be the trials of the Minority Leader and Asutifi South MP, Collins Dauda.
The NDC lawmakers. staged the first boycott on Thursday, July 6.
By Vincent Kubi