History in Parliament, as Minority refuse to heckle President

Accra , Feb 26, GNA – For the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, a President was not heckled in Parliament whilst delivering his State of the Nation Address, an occurrence an observer has described as ‘Ghanaian politicians displaying maturity and civility’.

Unlike previous occasions where the minority side of the House heckled the President to the chagrin of their opposite, President John Dramani Mahama this time delivered the State of the Nation Address devoid of the express disapproval that characterized preceding year.

The Minority, bedecked in black, sat silently throughout the President’s address, enduring the shouts of approval from the majority side whenever the President mentioned an intervention his government intends to use to improve the lot of Ghanaians.

Even when some Majority legislators made cynical remarks at the opposition New Patriotic Party’s leader, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, who was seated in the public gallery with his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the Minority kept their cool and listened to the address, refusing to be drawn into a confrontation.

President Mahama’s address centered heavily on infrastructural development and building a resilient economy, as well as interventions to address the present economic malaise and the crippling energy crisis.

The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, after the President’ s address, said his side had decided to deviate from the usual and listen in silence to protect the dignity of Parliament   and to respect the President.

‘But for the avoidance of doubt, it is important to state for the record that we [Minority] in this House have agreed to listen to the President’s insight. This self-imposition is to protect the dignity of the house and indeed the presidency.

‘Let nobody tomorrow say that the President so much mesmerized the House that we couldn’t do anything but listen to him in silence’, he added.

He said the Minority will next week Wednesday, March 4, declare the true state of the nation as the President’s address did not reflect what ‘every Ghanaian knows and is passing through at this moment’.

The Minority, the GNA gathered, had decided yesterday not to heckle the President but declare a mourning period for the economy of Ghana by wearing black.

Deputy Minority Leader, Dominic Nitiwul told the GNA that “we were silent because were are mourning for the economic mess that Ghana is in today….when you are mourning you don’t talk”.


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