The Deputy Majority Leader of Parliament, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, has bemoaned the reckless posture of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in destroying the enviable democratic credentials of Ghana.
Mr Afenyo-Markin made the remark in an interview following the attacks on the Supreme Court Justices by the Minority NDC Parliamentarians and their party communicators after the court’s judgment on Deputy Speakers’ voting eligibility.
The Deputy Majority Leader, who is also the Member of Parliament for Effutu constituency, reminded the NDC that if they continued to break down the institutions of democracy, it would go against them.
“The NDC is destroying everything needed to sustain good governance. That is not how to operate a democracy…extremist attacks cannot be the way to go. The NDC must be cautioned that one day, if the NDC as party wants to come back to cross that bridge, they shouldn’t be surprised if they find none to cross back home,” he said.
According to him, the NDC should argue forcefully when they lose and graciously accept it when they lose like what the NPP did in opposition.
“The NPP didn’t go out to attack the Supreme Court when we lost in the Kojoga Adra vrs AG case. Did we?” he queried, describing the NDC Minority’s antics as ridiculous.
The Deputy Majority Leader said he was happy that the Supreme Court provided ample legal precedents to back its arguments, including the question of interference or sovereignty, explaining that it traced the constitutional history of the powers of Parliament from previous republics.
“Anyone who seeks to disagree with these must, at least, provide some law as a basis for disagreeing or make some sound and justifiable legal argument to support this disagreement,” he stated.
He wondered why the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, for instance, would make a statement to the effect that the Supreme Court was attempting to support the passage of the Electronic Levy.
“It is an established fact that the plaintiff of the case is a known NDC member and a lawyer, so why the sudden display of arrogance, media assassination and insults on the bench and the Supreme Court. For the NDC, immediately they go to court, they must win their case at all cost…that is certainly uncivil, and not fair,” he pointed out.
He questioned NDC’s arguments that the Constitution does prohibit the Deputy Speakers’ from voting, saying “their argument is based on parity of reasoning that the Speaker is prohibited when presiding and that the deputies should also suffer same”.
“The NDC should know very well that the 1st and 2nd deputy Speakers are representatives of constituencies unlike the Speaker of Parliament who is not an MP,” he said.
He urged Members of Parliament to respect the decisions of the apex court, noting “if we are not ready to accept and respect the decisions of our courts, then we have no business running to them when we are in trouble.”
“The NDC must learn to accept defeat graciously. When they lose, they should accept defeat. They should respect the bench, regardless of the verdict; not only when it goes in their favour. For us in the political class, if we are able to uphold this rule, it is the only way of sustaining our hard earned democracy,” Mr Afenyo-Markin added.