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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 10:46 GMT
Ghana boycott over graft sentence
Former President of Ghana Jerry Rawlings
Dan Abodakpi worked for ex-President Jerry Rawlings
Ghana's main opposition party has announced an indefinite boycott of parliament in protest at a sentence imposed on one of its members.

The National Democratic Congress's Dan Abodakpi was jailed for 10 years on Monday for fraud.

He was trade and industry minister under ex-President Jerry Rawlings.

The NDC accused the government of carrying out selective justice, alleging it tried harder to unearth past cases of graft than present.

Mr Rawlings seized power twice - in 1979 and 1981 - and went on to win two democratic elections.

When he stepped down in 2000 it was the first peaceful transition of power since independence 50 years ago.

His successor President John Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party won a second term in December 2004, in a poll praised for being well-run and orderly.

'Vendetta'

Mr Abodakpi was convicted of causing losses to the state by paying for a feasibility study that was never completed.

NDC spokesman John Mahama said the prosecution was a political vendetta.

"We champion the rule of law... [but] since 2001 there has been selection prosecution of opposition members," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

"Exactly the same things, if not worse, are happening under the president government and the government just turns a blind eye to them."

Mr Mahama said the party would meet on Friday to review the boycott announcement.


SEE ALSO
Ghana's grown-up politics
11 Dec 04 |  Africa
Ghana's grudge match
28 Sep 04 |  Africa
Taking the pulse of Ghana
18 Oct 04 |  Africa
Country profile: Ghana
17 Jul 04 |  Country profiles

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