The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is casting its net wide for the 2008 parliamentary polls, with the adoption of a measure that may possibly ensure the perpetuation of the political marriage of convenience, between the party and legislators of the Nkrumaist political parties.
This became manifest when the ruling party recently opened nominations for aspiring parliamentary candidates in all constituencies that it lost in the 2004 elections but left out the three seats where it did not put up candidates in the last elections but supported candidates of the Convention People's Party (CPP) to capture. Nominations were closed last Tuesday.
The alliance saw the CPP win the only seats they have in the National Assembly at the moment, namely: Freddie Blay's Ellembelle, Kojo Armah's Evalue-Gwira, both in Kwame Nkrumah's Nzema area of the Western Region and Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom's Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem in the Central region.
Indications are that, after having successfully negotiated the arrangement with the CPP in the last election and having the three legislators being a minority group saying thank you to the ruling party by sitting with the NPP majority in Parliament, the ruling party now wants to grab the four sitting legislators of the People's National Convention (PNC) and Bunkpurugu Yunyo's Joseph Labik, all of whom agreed to be on the Majority bench in the legislative Assembly.
National Organizer of the NPP, Mr. Lord Commey, confirmed in an interview on Thursday that the party did not open nominations in the seats currently occupied by the legislators who are not elected on the ticket of the NPP but sit with the majority in the House.
He explained that the rationale for not opening nominations in those areas was that since those MPs had agreed to be with the ruling party in Parliaent, they should be given the peace of mind to do their parliamentary work rather than opening nominations there that may make the sitting MPs jittery regarding how to secure those seats at the expense of Parliamentary work.
Asked why then nominations were opened at the Zebilla Constituency, which is occupied by the PNC's John Ndebugre, he responded that the General Secretary had initially sent nomination forms to all constituencies where there were no sitting NPP legislators.
“It was later that we realized that anomaly and we immediately sent messages to those constituencies that nominations should not be opened there. So the anomaly has been corrected,” Mr. Commey said.
Former Upper East Regional Minister, Mr. Mahmi Salifu, who currently enjoys massive support in the Zebilla Constituency and the DCE for Bawku West, Mr. Moses Abare Appiah, were those who had filed to contest for the party's parliamentary ticket.
The NPP Organizer explained further that nominations for those seats would be opened later just as would be done for seats that are being occupied by NPP members. He said in politics any kind of arrangement was possible and so could not tell whether there would be an arrangement between his party and legislators of the other Nkrumaist parties.
The Chairman of the CPP, Dr. Edmund Delle told the Chronicle that he was not aware the NPP did not open nominations in the three constituencies occupied by members of his party.
Dr. Delle said his party would go to congress in August this year during which matters relating to filing of nominations would be discussed.
“I cannot tell whether we would put up other candidates there or not but in August we would have taken a decision on that,” the party Chairman said, stressing that the Executive Committee would however look into the matter as it has come up.
Reacting to the issue, the General Secretary of the PNC, Mr. Gabriel Pwamang said the NPP has no formal arrangement with his party for any form of alliance. He was of the view that it would be interesting for the NPP to approach the PNC for any parliamentary alliance and noted that any decision on such an issue would have to be determined by the steering committee of the party.
Credit: The Chronicle