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Minority threatens to boycott Parliament over Ato Forson’s trial

The Minority caucus in Parliament has reaffirmed its steadfast support for Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, as he navigates his ongoing legal battles.


The caucus has committed to being present for parliamentary duties following the conclusion of each day’s court proceedings related to the ambulance case trial.


On Tuesday, June 11, Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza announced this stance following the High Court’s rejection of a request from Dr. Forson’s legal team.


The request sought permission for Dr. Forson to attend significant parliamentary activities scheduled for the same day, coinciding with the resumption of the House’s third meeting of the fourth session.


“The court’s denial of our request hampers our leader’s ability to participate in critical parliamentary activities,” Agbodza stated.


“Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe previously denied a similar request from the Parliament of Ghana, preventing Dr. Forson from attending a crucial meeting of the Parliamentary Service Board. As a result, the NDC Caucus was left without representation at these vital discussions.”


As Parliament begins its third meeting of the fourth session of the eighth Parliament, Dr. Forson was expected to deliver a resumption address, engage with the press, and partake in other key legislative activities.


“These duties are essential and reserved for the leader of a Parliamentary Caucus at the commencement of a parliamentary meeting,” Agbodza elaborated.


The Minority Caucus expressed concern over what they perceive as a deliberate effort by the trial judge to impede Dr. Forson from performing his constitutional duties as an elected MP and the Leader of the Minority Caucus.


“We see a disturbing pattern that obstructs our leader from fulfilling his responsibilities,” Agbodza noted.


In response to this perceived obstruction, the NDC Minority has vowed to continue supporting Dr. Forson throughout his court appearances.


“We stand by our Leader and will be present to show our solidarity each time he appears in court,” Agbodza affirmed.


Furthermore, Agbodza declared that the NDC Minority Caucus reserves the right to employ all available parliamentary tools to address this issue legislatively.


The caucus’s commitment underscores their resolve to ensure that their leader can execute his parliamentary duties without hindrance.


As the situation unfolds, the NDC Minority Caucus remains vigilant and determined to uphold the principles of representation and justice within Parliament, advocating for the fair treatment of their leader amidst ongoing judicial proceedings.


READ THE FULL STATEMENT FROM THE MINORITY MPs

PRESS STATEMENT


NDC MINORITY CAUCUS TO SOLIDARISE WITH MINORITY LEADER, DR. CASSIEL ATO FORSON IN ONGOING COURT CASE

The NDC Minority Caucus will only be available for the business of Parliament after proceedings of the court have ended on the days scheduled for the hearing of the ongoing ambulance case trial.


The decision comes on the back of the refusal of the presiding High Court judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe (Mrs), to grant a request from the lawyers of the Minority Leader for the leave of the court to enable him attend to important parliamentary business on Tuesday, 11th June, 2024 when the House resumes its third meeting of the fourth session.


Last week, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe again rejected a similar request from the Parliament of Ghana to enable the Minority Leader take part in a meeting of the Parliamentary Service Board which was due to take critical decisions ahead of the resumption of Parliament, among others.


The NDC Caucus was left with no representation at these important meetings.


Today, as Parliament commences its third meeting of the fourth session of the eighth Parliament, the Minority Leader is expected to deliver a resumption address, join parliamentary leadership to engage the press and undertake other important activities, as part of his legislative mandate.


These are part of very important parliamentary duties exclusively reserved for the leader of a Parliamentary Caucus at the commencement of a parliamentary meeting.


The NDC Minority Caucus has taken notice of this worrying trend that shows an attempt by the trial judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, to prevent the Minority Leader from performing his constitutional duties as an elected Member of Parliament and the Leader of the Minority Caucus.


In the light of the above, and the continuous persecution of the Minority Leader, the NDC Minority will continue to solidarise and stand by its Leader anytime he is due to appear in court.


The NDC Minority Caucus further reserves the right to apply all other tools available to us in our approach to business on the floor.


END


KWAME GOVERNS AGBODZA, MP

MINORITY CHIEF WHIP


Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith

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