The Globe Newspaper reports that the marriage of convenience between the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) is headed for the rocks, unless something dramatic happens within the next few days to calm the two Nkrumahist Members of Parliament (MPs) who sit with the Majority group in the Ghanaian Legislature.
Exclusive information available to The Globe Newspaper indicates that Hon Haruna Bayarigah, PNC MP for Sisala West and Hon Azong Alhassan, PNC MP for Builsa South could in the coming days withdraw their membership of the majority group in Parliament.
The Globe is reliably informed that a third lawmaker, the Independent MP Wulensi, Alhaji Saani Iddi — who was removed from office last year as Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing by President John Mills — is also equally outraged by the ruling party’s decision to field a candidate in his constituency.
In August this year, the NDC issued a decree, banning party members aspiring to unseat incumbent party MPs from campaigning until early next year. The decision followed fears that early primaries in constituencies held by NDC MPs could jeopardise approval of government policies and programmes in Parliament, given that most MPs would abandon the legislature to fight for retention as NDC Parliamentary Candidates.
But, while the NDC was minded to give its MPs a briefing space until early next year, the party failed to extend same to the two PNC MPs, who belong to the majority caucus, and whose votes — plus that of the independent MP for Wulensi — have been vital in deciding the fate of important government bills and programmes since January 2009.
Presently campaigns by NDC top guns in the two constituencies have intensified, as the party inches closer to its primaries to elect candidates for electoral areas considered orphan constituencies for the ruling party – a situation that has angered the PNC, forcing party chiefs to start arrangements for an emergency National Executive Committee meeting in the coming days to discuss the issue.
“This distasteful position that the NDC has put across . …will merit the attention of our National Executive Committee. We will discuss it at that level and then we will consider what necessary steps to take with regards to the sitting arrangement of our MPs in Parliament,” PNC General Secretary, Bernard Monah said in an exclusive interview with The Globe.
But, Monah would not confirm whether his party intends to withdraw its MPs from the Majority side except to say: “What the NDC has done is desperately unacceptable. The PNC certainly feels hurt. The NDC has betrayed the trust and confidence our MPs and the PNC as a party has in them and we will respond appropriately…”
He went on: “…As the start and inception of this Parliament, the NDC had only 114 members. With the support of the two PNC MPs and the Independent MP for Wulensi, the NDC was able to constitute a majority and therefore enabling them to get a Speaker outright. Again our MPs have supported many other government policy options hook, line and sinker — sometimes against party position and policy stance – therefore the NDC cannot stab our MPs in the back.”
“What they are saying is that our MPs don’t matter in Parliament as far as their majority side is concerned and we feel that this is totally a sell out on whatever agreement that we might have had with the NDC as far as our Parliamentary sitting is concerned,” the PNC General Secretary added.
But, Minority leader, Hon Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, told this reporter that the PNC must have itself to blame for always “floating” with parties in power instead of sticking to “principle.”
He said, “I think that people should be principled and not be floating like butterfly as the PNC appears to be doing now. It does seem to me that the way they are conducting themselves, it’s like they want be in power eternally. They want to associate with the ruling party all the time…and it is not doing their cause any good.”
He said for the PNC to abandon the NPP for the NDC after having stuck to the NPP majority during John Kufuor’s rule as President created an impression in the minds of many people that the PNC was an “opportunistic party.”
The Suame MP added,“…Now that the NDC is treating them this way, I bet that if we should win the election they will associate with us, so what will be the principle of always associating with the NDC or the NPP as and when they deem fit? It doesn’t do the image of the party any good at all. ”
Source: The Globe Ghana