General News of Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Source: Al-Hajj

NPP MPs In Power Struggle

By A A Yayra

The road in front of the New Patriotic Party is indeed winding and long, as some Members of Parliament for the party are said to be tirelessly loitering and forcefully knocking at the corridors of the party leadership to get them nominated for top positions in next years’ parliament.

The Minority caucus is scheduled to select new leaders for next years’ parliament and reports indicate certain key members would leave nothing to chance to grab the post of Second Deputy Speaker and Minority Leader of the august House.

Sources close to the Minority caucus say MP for Sekondi, Paapa Owusu Ankomah could be considered for the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament’s job for two main factors - to ensure regional balance in the leadership and to rebrand the NPP to break away from the usual Akyem/Ashanti and allow other tribes to have a bite of the cheery.
The need for a regional balance, according to the source has come about as a result of growing perception among Ghanaians especially, party supporters that, the NPP is been remote controlled by people from the Akyem/Ashanti stock
“There are equally competent MPs from other regions to man that position but as the case stands now, Hon Ankomah stands tall…he has served as a majority leader, Attorney General and Minister in several portfolios under former president Kufuor’s administration…he is the best man with the required experience to and astuteness to fill that position” the source disclosed
The source disclosed that the leadership of the party was seriously contemplating on having the MP for Tema West, Irene Naa Torshie Addo lead the minority side of the house, but the source was quick to add that “this decision could change because the party was looking for a lawyer who is vocal and a non-Akan to head that position…so it could happen that we may find a more viable candidate from any of the three northern regions.”
The search for a Second Deputy Speaker and Minority Leader in the sixth Parliament is said to have triggered an aggressive lobbying among the NPP MPs.
Per our intelligence, one of such law maker on the minority side who has extensively intensified a full swing lobbying and political scheming strategy to be nominated as either minority leader or second deputy speaker of parliament is the MP for Essikado-Ketan constituency and former Attorney General and Minister of Justice in the Kufuor administration, Joe Ghartey.
Sources close to the minority disclose to The Al-Hajj that though the party was set to challenge the electoral results at the court, some of the NPP MPs wants to take up some front line positions in next year’s parliament whiles rallying behind the party to stage its legal battle against the Electoral Commission.
Information gathered indicate that the Essikado-Ketan MP is relentlessly playing the Western and Central region card to win the heart of the NPP leadership, especially when the Party has not perform well in last election in those regions.
“Mr. Ghartey is optimistic that when he is handed any of the two positions, people of the Western and Central region will feel compensated and will vote for the party in the next election to ensure a resounding victory for the party” the source disclosed
The Al-Hajj has gathered that the NPP MPs are sharply divided over who leads the Minority and who becomes Second Deputy Speaker of parliament.
Tempers are said to have gone through the roof within the legislative ranks of the NPP as 27 MPs from the minority, allegedly led by MP for Suhum and outgoing Minority Chief Whip, Frederick Opare Ansah have written a strong worded petition to the leadership of the NPP not to retain the MP for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu as the Minority leader of the sixth Parliament of the Fourth Republic
Sources within the minority hinted The Al-Hajj that, seven MPs who were signatories to the said petition to ‘oust’ the outgoing minority leader have dissented, claiming “they were not aware of any petition to the party leadership not to renew the mandate of Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu as leader of the minority in the next parliament.
Information picked up indicates that there is a bad blood between Frederick Opare Ansah and the outgoing Minority Leader, hence the urgent and frantic moves to get rid of him for somebody who can foster unity among the minority side of the august house.
Another group within the minority led by the MP for Aburi constituency, O B Amoah is seriously dusting the CV of Osei Kyei Mensah Bosu with the hope of winning the heart of the NPP leadership to elevate the minority leader to the position of the second Deputy Speaker of Parliament or at best, retain him as minority leader.
The Al-Hajj has gathered that O. B Amoah’s group is working hard to get the Suame MP reassign to that position in order for them to lobby for another preferred candidate who will lead the minority to a stiff battle against the Majority, which is said to have slated young, vociferous, experienced and energetic MPs as front liners for next year’s parliament
Whiles the Suhum MP is working hard to get rid of Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, our intelligence has it that the outgoing Minority Leader had vowed not to allow any breathing space for Opare Ansah to have his way, as he is ready to fight at the peril of his life to ‘defeat’ the minority chief whip
Meanwhile, a leading member of the NPP who spoke to The Al-Hajj on condition of anonymity explained the party was still working on its evidence gathering to be presented at the supreme court, adding that “I will not rule out the fact that some of our MPs have been lobbying for the various positions available to the minority in parliament”
Touching on the Western and Central region card been played, the source noted that, should the party consider anybody from the Western or Central region, it will definitely not be Joe Ghartey.
According to him “if the party should decide to play the Western and Central card to court voters in the next election, the ideal candidate will be the MP for Sekondi, Paapa Owusu Ankomah because he is a senior to Joe Ghartey and he commands lot of respect in those regions as compared to the Essikado-Ketan MP”
Meanwhile, some NPP MPs who have virtually ruled themselves out of the minority frontline positions in parliament are also said to be crafting a befitting underground political scheme to take over from their contemporaries currently serving as chairpersons and ranking members of the various standing and select committees of the law making house.
Currently, The Al-Hajj is in the know that the MP elect for the Anyaa-Sowutuom constituency and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of parliamentary, Shirley Ayokor Botchway is showcasing her foreign affairs relations dexterity to be considered as a ranking member of the same committee
Our sources with the minority conceded that there are serious deviousness going on to take over the chairmanship position of the Public Accounts Committee, which is currently been occupied by the MP for Afigya Sekyere West, Albert Kan-Dapaah and the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation also been chaired by MP for Nsuta-Kwamang, Kwame Osei-Prempeh and other key committees in parliament
Though the source was tight lipped on the MPs who have their eyes on the committees, he was quick to add that “there is serious contest for the various position and the occupants of those post must tightened their belt or else…”