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Politics of Wednesday, 13 May 2015


NDC plots againt minority leader

Credible information is emerging that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is plotting the defeat of prominent figures in Parliament, especially the Minority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Suame, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

The governing NDC sees the defeat of certain personalities in the lawmaking body as a major boost in its quest to weaken the minority side ahead of the 2016 general election.

Such key figures whose downfall is being orchestrated by the governing party also include, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, MP for New Juaben South and deputy ranking member on Parliament’s Finance committee; Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, MP for Sunyani East and ranking member on the Committee of Local Government and Rural Development, Titus Glover, MP for Tema East.

These key members and many more big shots within the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are said to be “thorns in the flesh” of NDC at parliamentary committee deliberations as well as during contributions on the floor of the House.

NDC’s modus operandi, according to information gathered, is to heavily sponsor individuals to contest against the targeted MPs as well as create confusion in their respective constituencies.

“Our target is to ensure that these MPs lose their parliamentary primaries so that they would not be vocal during parliamentary debates leading to the next general election. This will ultimately weaken NPP in Parliament before the 2016 polls,” a source within the NDC told Vanguard.

Intelligence picked up by Vanguard has uncovered deep involvement of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and other security agencies in the whole scheme.

On the minority’s front bench, it is only the Minority leader and Irene Naa Torshie Addo, MP for Tema West and First Deputy Whip whose seats have been targeted as Deputy Minority leader and MP for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul; Minority Chief Whip and MP for Okere, Dan Botwe; and Second Deputy Whip and MP for Sunyani West are all going unopposed.

A defeat of Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu at NPP’s parliamentary primaries on June 13, 2015, according to the NDC source, will be a vital lubricant that is expected to oil the propaganda machinery of the ruling party.

“We would make sure he doesn’t make any meaningful contribution on the floor of parliament if he loses because we would label and shout at him as a ‘rejected leader’ anytime he rises to speak,” the source told Vanguard, adding “this is expected to disarm the minority caucus.”

Regrettably, key NPP elements are involved in the sinister motive to unseat the minority leader who has arguably become an epitome of NPP in the legislature.

His grasp and in-depth knowledge of parliamentary procedures has been exemplary in Ghana’s legislature and none of the five aspirants dragged into the fray to remove him from the Suame seat has such remarkable dexterity to competently represent the people of that constituency.

One of the aspirants considered to be the main challenger to minority leader, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi is said to be wealthy even though his source of funding and line of business are not known.

Vanguard has learnt that the governing NDC has plans to scrutinise his business activities if he is mistakenly elected by Suame delegates on June 13, 2015.

In contrast, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has represented the people of Suame and has popularized the name of the constituency across the world without anybody raising a finger about his unimpeachable record.

He became the minority leader in Parliament in 2009 after NPP lost power in the closest Ghanaian presidential election in 2008.

Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu endeared himself to many Ghanaians, especially those who have keenly followed the work of Parliament over the period.

He has been described by his admirers as a consummate legislator as a result of the ubiquitous manner in which he handled issues on the floor of parliament as well as his ability to communicate effectively on matters of national importance.

The Minority Leader has been described as someone who has always been on top of issues and has consistently shot down arguments of political opponents, using the Constitution and Standing Orders of Parliament.

He entered Parliament in 1997 after he contested the 1996 parliamentary election in the then Old Tafo Suame Constituency and won.

The minority leader entered parliament with the NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other senior members of the party like Sekondi MP Papa Owusu-Ankomah and J. H. Mensah, senior minister under the Kufuor administration.

He rose through the ranks through hard work in a party full of intelligentsia, starting as the Secretary of the Minority Caucus (1997-2000), Deputy Majority Whip and later Majority Chief Whip (2001-2004), Deputy Majority Leader and Member of the ECOWAS Parliament among others.

It is not clear what the stands of the minority caucus will be in protecting their leader in parliament as his defeat could cause collateral damage to the group in the House.