The use of boycott as a way of demonstrating descent on an issue is accepted in countries that practice parliamentary governance. The art is often used by opposition or minority parties in parliamentary democracies.
The practice, however, can be overly abused when there is a ploy by the minority to twist the arm of the governing party. In Ghana, the art of boycott dates as far back as the early 50’s when the nation started practicing parliamentary governance.
The practice became popular in the 4th republic particularly in the 1996 parliament which was sharply divided between the two most dominant political parties, the new Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In 1993, the NPP boycotted parliament even though they had secured enough seats from the elections which took place in 1992 to become the minority group. The party subsequently participated in the 1996 parliament despite having similar cause that warranted their decision not to participate in the legislative body in 1993.
Ironically, the NDC is deploying similar tactics of boycott with the latest being its decision not to sit for the swearing in of the newly elected New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon, Lydia Alhassan.
Their argument was that the polls were flawed and fraught with a lot of problems. We at GO, however, find this reason laughable knowing everything that happened in the electoral process apart from the isolated incident in Bawaleshie legitimizes same. We caution that the opposition party learn to use the process appropriately.