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19.08.2005 General News

Hotel Kufuor: CPP, NRP, GCPP Join In

Chronicle

…But say they await CHRAJ Three political parties in the country, namely the Convention People's Party (CPP), the National Reform Party (NRP), and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), have all expressed support for the preliminary investigations being conducted by the Commission on Human Rights and administrative Justice (CHRAJ) into the 'Hotel Kufuor' affair, and hope the outcome will put the matter to rest.

The General Secretary of the CPP, Professor Nii Noi Dowuona, General Secretary of the NRP, Mr. Kyeretwie Opoku, and the Leader of the GCPP, Mr. Dan Lartey, disclosed this in separate interviews with The Chronicle early this the week.

According to Prof. Dowuona, the General secretary of the CPP, which is in unity talks with another Nkrumaist party, the People's National Convention (PNC), the controversial issue over the purchase and ownership of the hotel next to President Kufuor's private residence does not enhance the image of the presidency.

According to him, series of questions and doubts have been raised about the President's morality, which obviously makes the issue more important, since his occupation of the seat should at all times attach an element of decency.

This, he said, therefore raises the need to do whatever is possible to clear the name of the President, since the position he occupies as the chief executive of this country commands a lot of respect.

He noted that if anything should be done about the situation, it would be prudent that an independent body or committee be tasked to investigate the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the hotel, stressing that this would lead to removing doubts about the ownership of the hotel.

Prof. Dowuona said this could be the only way by which the President's guilt or innocence might be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

He, however, blamed government for failing to do enough checks on the woman at the center of controversy, Giselle Yazji, before engaging her services, stressing that if proper checks were done to find out the persona Giselle Yazji, probably the President would have been spared all this embarrassment.

If the speculations made, which have raged on for the past two months turn out to be true, he indicated that it would amount to an abuse of office.

Prof. Dowuona noted that the CPP, as a party, does not in any way intend to make capital out of the issue, since CHRAJ, which has instituted preliminary investigations into the issue, has not come out with its report.

According to the Professor, it would also amount to a breach of the very constitution that the President swore an oath to uphold and defend, if he was indeed part of the transaction or the owner of the facility, because the Constitution, obviously bars him from doing so.

The Professor also finds it disappointing that the President does not stay at the Castle after renovating it at a heavy cost with taxpayers money, but rather chose to live in his private residence, under the pretext that the place was too small for him and his family.

The General Secretary of the NRP (National Reform Party), Mr. Kyeretwie Opoku, has also indicated that his party is patiently waiting for CHRAJ to come out with its findings, before it comes out with a concrete statement on the issue, since according to him it would be premature to be pre-judgmental to comment on an issue before a statutory body.

For him, however, morality is not the issue, since the Constitution does not bar the President from engaging in an extra-marital affair.

This, he said, was because every individual had the right to live a private and suitable life provided his conscience serves him right.

He noted that if for a reason or two CHRAJ realizes there is some iota of truth or significance in the statements made so far by the lady at the center of the controversy, it would be prudent to fly her into the country.

But if there is no substantive evidence, she would produce, she should come on her own as she has promised to.

On his part, old Uncle Dan Lartey, of 'Domestication' fame, noted that in as much as CHRAJ had expressed interest in doing preliminary investigations to ascertain the level of truth or otherwise of the allegations, it would be good for each and every individual who claims to have evidence to produce it to facilitate an easy process.

In as much as he does not believe, as a state institution it is self-regulatory, he expressed belief that at the end of the investigation it would provide nothing but the truth to vindicate the weird perception being held about the institution.

According to him, for now, it would therefore be premature for any individual to associate the President with the deal, notwithstanding the level of allegations.

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