James Kluste Avedzi
It is becoming apparent that the centre cannot hold among Members of Parliament (MPs) on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the selection of leaders for the minority with just a few days to the inauguration of the 7th Parliament.
While the 25 NDC MPs from the Volta Region have resolved that the minority leader for the incoming parliament ought to be the MP for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi, there are media reports of an intense lobbying and jostling by other members for the same position.
Last week, several media reports quoted supposedly ‘deep throat’ sources as saying that the NDC MPs had unanimously agreed that the Tamale South MP, Haruna Iddrisu should be made the minority leader.
Speculations also suggest that Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, Nadwoli Kaleo MP, is lacing his boots to become second deputy speaker of the house.
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, MP for Odododiodioo and outgoing Minister for Youth and Sports, is also tipped for the position of minority chief whip, snatching it from Muntaka Mubarak, MP for Asawase.
According to NDC Greater Accra Regional chairman, Kobina Ade Coker, the Accra caucus of the party has put forward Nii Lantey for the top job.
However, MP for Keta, Richard Quashigah, in a statement, expressed worry that the ongoing lobbying, and the way it is being done in the public eye could create some problems for the NDC in parliament.
“Even before the Seventh Parliament swings into action on Saturday, January 7th, it appears there is jostling for who makes it to the leadership of the NDC minority in the house, creating discomfiture among the elected members.
“Sources of information by the media are not clearly defined except for allusions being made to the party leadership. The resort to the media by certain faceless elements in the party to fly kites and to test public opinion among party faithful can create confusion and disorganise the incoming minority front in parliament. I would imagine that more mature and reasoned procedures will be followed in the selection of those who make up the minority leadership in parliament,” Mr. Quashigah declared.
The Keta MP expressed his opinion on the ideal minority leader for the incoming parliament.
“For the NDC minority in parliament to glitter and hit the parapet, it will require a strong sense of unity of purpose and the striking of the required chemistry among all the segments. Attaining this unity and cohesion in order to hold the feet of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the fire demands high levels of transparency, collective consultation among the leadership of the party and the Members of Parliament.
“To this end, a very astute, sharp and meticulous minority leadership acceptable to both the generality of the party and more importantly, the elected Members of Parliament, should be a key driver. A well balanced and thoughtful selection is what the NDC in parliament needs in order to inspire in them the needed confidence, energy and strength to play forth the noble but critical role against incipient abuse of NPP ‘majoritarian’ intolerance and its likely consequences of constitutional despotism.”
Mr. Quashigah suggested that a dialogue with all elected MPs on the subject matter would be “critically important” and that there is also the need to seek the views of some particular persons and groups, including the outgoing president and leader of the NDC, the Council of Elders, most importantly, the founder or founding father of the party, depending on which terminology suits ones’ ear.”
He also emphasized the need to seek the views of outgoing NDC MPs and said regional leaderships of the party should be asked to interface with their elected MPs before submitting proposed names to the national leadership for further deliberation.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo