THEGHANAREPORT.COM SCORECARD: The 22 NPP/NDC boycotts and walk-outs since 1992
The Minority in Parliament, the National Democratic Congress, has sensationally boycotted the President’s final State of the Nation Address, citing issues with plans to introduce a new voter’s register.
The move created a buzz on social media, with several NPP MPs asking the NDC to apologise. The NDC insisted boycotts are part of democratic tools of protest.
TheGhanaRepport.com goes back into history to chronicle the times when the NDC and NPP have found reasons to boycott, stage a walk-out or failed to show up at expected public events, functions or programmes, or simply left their seats in Parliament vacant.
Theghanareport.com does not claim the list is exhaustive.
- August 2003: The NDC boycotted the debate on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Bill. The NDC accused the government of deceiving Ghanaians. The party said the government was in haste to pass the Bill because of pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fulfil the agreement it has reached with the Fund to include add a five per cent increase in the VAT in the 2003 budget.
- On 23 February 2005: The NDC Minority in Parliament staged a walk-out in protest at the motion for a bill that seeks to impose taxes on petroleum products. The Customs and Excise (Petroleum Taxes and Petroleum-related levies) Bill was described by the Minority as illegality since, when passed, it would have a retroactive effect. The Minority argued it was an attempt to regularise the illegal collection of the petroleum tax since the hike in the prices of petroleum products on 18
- February 2006: The NDC Minority announced an indefinite boycott of Parliament over the Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill. The boycott was over the “wanton and flagrant disrespect for Minority rights” and their opposition to the bill.
- On February 19, 2010, the NPP Minority in Parliament boycotted proceedings in the House in protest against the arrest of Nana Darkwa, a communication officer of the party, while taking part in a morning show programme of an Accra radio station. “The Minority has decided not to participate in the proceedings of the House until further notice”, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the Minority Leader, told the Speaker, Justice Adeline Bamford Addo.
- In August 2010: The NPP Minority in Parliament, save PC Appiah Ofori, who was the MP for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, staged a walk-out on the debate over the controversial STX Korean housing deal, after a prolonged sitting. The Minority contended that the NDC Majority had betrayed a trust they had in them after an initial agreement, in caucus, that the debate should be postponed for a week more, for more diligent work to be done on the agreements.
- In November 2013, the NPP Minority in Parliament led by its Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, walked out on proceedings when a 2.5% increase in VAT was laid for approval.
- In January 2013, NPP MPs, who were then the Minority, boycotted the State of the Nation Address delivered by the then President John Dramani Mahama. Their action was in line with their position not to engage in any activity that would appear to give legitimacy to Mr Mahama’s presidency until the Supreme Court ruled on the petition brought before it, which was then challenging the results of the 2012 presidential election.
- In May 2014, the opposition NPP boycotted the National Economic Forum, popularly known as the Senchi Forum, aimed at achieving consensus on policies, strategies and measures to accelerate Ghana’s transition from a lower-middle-income nation to an upper-middle-income economy.
- In November 2014, the NPP Minority in Parliament staged a walkout from Parliament, while deliberations were ongoing on the controversial 17.5% Special Petroleum Tax. The Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, submitted the bill to Parliament after presenting the 2015 budget statement and requested for Parliamentary approval. But the Minority indicated it would not contribute to a bill that would impose hardships on Ghanaians.
- On February 18, 2015: A majority of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentarians boycotted sitting and joined the ‘wɔn gbo’ demonstration. The party’s 2016 Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo Addo, led the demonstration, with support from other NPP stalwarts; Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Kwabena Agyepong, Alan Kyeremanten, Fred Oware, among others.
NDC record of boycotts and walk-outs
- On August 1, 2017, the NDC Minority in parliament staged a walk-out during deliberations on the controversial $510 million AMERI power deal. The walkout followed concerns raised by Minority MPs that they were being gagged and prevented from making contributions on the floor. The Majority caucus’ booed’, shooed and chanted ‘away, away, away’ as the NDC MPs filed out of the chamber in anger and frustration.
- October 2017:The NDC Minority in Parliament boycotted Mines and Energy Committee meeting in Parliament considering a $510 million AMERI deal which government said was “over-priced”. Explaining their absence, Chairman of the Committee, Emmanuel Gyamfi, said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentarians do not want to be associated with the decision to demand a $150 million refund.
- On March 24, 2018, the NDC Minority in Parliament staged a walkout from Parliament over the Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement before the House. The joint-committee on Defence and Interior Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament gave it a green light. This is despite massive public protest against the deal which many, including the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), described as “dangerous” and a sale of Ghana’s sovereignty.
- June 2018: The NDC Minority in Parliament announced a boycott of the registration exercise at Parliament for national ID cards, citing legal, procurement and cost concerns. In a statement, the MinorityLleader and Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu, said the National Identification Authority (NIA) had not been honest with the Ghanaians over the cost of the project with two figures – $1.4billion and $293 million, – according to reports.
- August 22, 2018, The opposition NDC failed to attend an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting organised by the Electoral Commission. The NDC said it felt slighted by their late invitation, thus their boycott.
- On November 16, 2018, the NDC Minority in Parliament boycotted proceedings in the chamber, accusing the Speaker of bias. The Opposition MPs said the Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye had time without number, been disrespectful to Minority members. The NDC MPs did not hesitate to register their protest during a debate on the proposed creation of new regions. According to them, the Speaker once again failed to acknowledge their leaders anytime they rose on the floor to put their arguments across.
- On January 31, 2019, the opposition NDC pulled out of the Ayawaso by-elections. The National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said the party withdrew from the elections for security reasons.
- February 2019: The Minority NDC said it will not cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry probing the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence. The Minority in a statement said it “would not be part of any scheme to cover up or create immunity for the perpetrators.” It would later make a U-turn.
- February 6, 2019: The NDC MPs, led by the Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, walked out of the chamber of Parliament before the new Ayawaso West Wuogon MP, Lydia Alhassan, was sworn into office. The Minority members, clad in black, displayed placards with the inscription “Bloody Widow” before walking out of the august house.
- On February 28, 2019, the Minority National Democratic Congress, (NDC) in Parliament led by the Member of Parliament for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, boycotted the second reading of the controversial Public Holiday (Amendment) Bill and other issues related to the Bill before Parliament. According to the Minority, the Bill was an attempt to change the long-held history of Ghana with the view that, globally, Dr Kwame Nkrumah was the founder of Ghana, hence their decision to walk out, when the Bill was being debated.
- On April 9, 2019, the Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) ‘boycotted’ a commemorative statement made by the NPP MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Syram Alhassan, on World Health Day.
- In February 2020: NDC boycotted signing of road map to end vigilantism.