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29.06.2005 NDC News

Emelia Arthur Declares NRP, NDC Not United

Ghanaian Chronicle

- And Condemns MPs' Car Loan Policy CONTRARY TO a recent media report that the National Reform Party (NRP) had re-united with the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Deputy General Secretary of the NRP, Madam Emelia Arthur says there was no such alliance between the two opposition parties.

She told The Chronicle in an interview that there had been nothing pointing to the fact that the two political groups may soon enter into unity talks for one to presume that the NRP may soon find its way back to its mother party, the NDC.

Asked whether it was possible for the NRP, which broke away from the NDC ahead of the 2000 general elections and went ahead to contest in that elections, would re-unite with its mother party, to strategize for the next general elections, she said the two parties were nowhere near any form of alliance.

While admitting that she had heard of the media allegation to the effect that the two sides had united, the dreadlocks-haired lady said, "I don't know where the story came from and the agenda of the paper. As far as I am aware, the NDC, NRP still remain as independent parties. We are not talking alliance and I can't tell what would be happening in the future."

An Accra-based private tabloid, had reported earlier that, at the funeral grounds of the late Victor Selormey, the NDC, NRP and EAGLE parties re-united into a single political group.

Touching on the recent announcement that each Member of Parliament (MP) would be provided with a $25,000 car loan, Madam Emelia who contested and lost in the last parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NRP, said such a facility for the lawmakers was totally unjustified.

She said the people in Ghana voted for their respective MPs so that they (the MPs) would help see to the needs of the people, not for the MPs to struggle for their own comfort.

The vociferous woman emphasized that if civil servants, some of whom had worked for years and without whom, the business of government would be distressed and consequently grind the economy to a halt, were not given such car loans, why should the nation provide such a facility for the lawmakers?

She rebuffed claims that this time, the loans would not be guaranteed by government but rather by parliament, asking, "If the MPs fail to pay for the loan, who is going to assume responsibility for the payment? I wonder if government is not going to be held responsible still for such payment."

The defeated parliamentary candidate further wondered whether the current loan facility would be accessed by only the newly elected members of the National Assembly or by all the 230 legislators, including the re-elected ones who had procured the same facility four years ago.

She proposed that the legislators be made to buy their own cars from their earnings even if such a policy would mean the MPs having improved salary levels.

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