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NPP MPs were whipped into walking out of Parliament – Rasheed Draman

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The Executive Director of the African Centre for Parliamentary Affairs (ACEPA), Dr. Rasheed Draman says the New Patriotic Party (NPP) influenced its MPs into opposing the census motion vote against Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

Speaking on Joy News on Friday, Dr. Draman explained that the decision to walk out of parliament minutes before the secret vote proved that the majority caucus had chosen some other interest over the national interest.

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“I think in the end it’s about some other interest and that is quite unfortunate. Because if they did not mean it, I mean those 80 MPs have no business telling Ghanaians that we want this man out. Now how do they respond to people questioning their credibility? ” he told Aisha Ibrahim.

According to him, the NPP MPs were manipulated to avoid the censure motion vote.

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“Since the MPs and the leader of the group said we want this man [finance minister] out, they say that is what their constituents told them, NDC group say that is what Ghanaians are clamouring for. So they are listening to the cry of the people and then in the end we saw that it was the party that prevailed because they [NPP MPs] were whipped into taking that position.

“I think it is all clear, we saw the statement that was signed a couple of weeks ago by the General Secretary of the NPP and the Whip from the majority group so, in the end, it’s not about you and me,” he said.

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The Majority MPs present in the House to debate the vote of censure against the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta staged a walkout on Thursday.

By walking out, the Majority denied the House the quorum to vote on the censure motion and the report presented by the 8-member Ad-hoc Committee.

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The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who led the walkout during the debate, explained that his side cannot be a part of the process.

“…. Like Pontius Pilate, we will wash our hands off this,” he said.

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On October 25, some NPP MPs demanded the sacking of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

The MPs numbering about 80, held a press conference to pile pressure on the President to relieve his cousin of the post or risk losing support for government business in Parliament.

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Barely a month after, the NPP ordered its MPs to abstain from the vote of censure against the Finance Minister. 

The party asked the Chief Whips of the Majority Caucus to ensure the order is complied with. 

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“By this directive, the leadership of the Majority Caucus especially the whips are to ensure that no member of the Majority Caucus partakes in this exercise by the Minority Group in Parliament,” excerpts of the statement read. 

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