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Ghanas First Deputy Speaker comes Under Attack From Party


In Ghana, The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and the Convention People's Party (CPP) Member of Parliament for Ellembelle in the Western Region Freddy Blay, has mounted a blistering attack on his party leadership and asked them to stop the unwarranted attacks on him and two other party members for not criticizing the ruling New patriotic party in government. An action the leadership of the party argues could have helped project the CPP in Parliament. According to him, he and his colleague MPs of the CPP who had been at the receiving end of condemnations would have wished the CPP were in power and noted that the party unfortunately had no structures or party offices to effectively fight for power.

Blay said he was not elected by his constituents to attack the government, but to ensure the living standards of his constituents improved through the provision of good schools, hospitals, electricity, good drinking water, affordable education, among others, which in his opinion the current administration was doing.

Blay said the three members of parliament from the CPP have no mandate to attack the ruling government because they have seen the NPP government doing its best in terms of education, agriculture and others.

According to him, he would not wage unnecessary war on government because that would only be a way of creating an opportunity for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to regain political power.

The Deputy Speaker underscored that it was unimaginable to hear people calling on them to work or speak against the government, which if they did would benefit the only the main opposition National democratic congress (NDC) and not the CPP.

Blay maintained that since their assumption of power, the NPP government had stabilized the economy, developed hospitals, improve schools' infrastructure, created jobs for the people, and even reduced taxes to the extent that banks were now chasing customers to give out loans.

Freddy Blay spoke with VOA English to Africa Peter Clottey about the accusations leveled against him by the CPP leadership.

“ Of course I am in principle in support and not only me the three of us in parliament in principle, we are in support of government programs in variably we have done that. We linked up with the government of the day that is the party of the day in parliament from the beginning when we were asked whether we choose to remain with the NDC or to be with the NPP in parliament. Because in parliament, the arrangement is either you are with the minority that is the bigger minority or a bigger majority. And we chose to do so to remain with the majority. We’ve done that but that doesn’t mean that we buy anything that happens in parliament hook and eye. If it is good, we support it, if it is bad then of course we will disagree. But in principle we’ve been pretty nice with the party in power in parliament and we don’t regret that so far,” he said.

Reacting to a recent meeting between the party chairman and the speaker of parliament in which the party chairman complained about their unflinching support for the ruling party, Blay said,”… it shows that he (the party chairman) has complete misunderstanding of what happens in parliament. The speaker has no control over any individual or the parties in parliament they speak on the floor. If you want anything, that any complain you want to make or anything you want to make, you speak on the floor. When there is a bill and we are debating it, you speak your mind. As an individual, indeed we don’t sit there marked as this party or that party. We just sit there as individuals with our names boldly written on our seats,” he noted.

Blay said the CPP has very slim chance of winning Ghana’s 2008 elections. He declares his support for the patriots, a group in the party, which seeks to revamp the party. He however believes the part does not have structures in place to win Ghana’s elections in 2008.

“ I have agreed with the patriots. We work together. We have had some few meetings. Most of the young men are professionals and so forth within it. I think I agree in principle that, they have a nostalgia for the CPP and they will prefer to revamp it. We’ve tried it; we use to call ourselves the parliamentary action group we came under fire. Since they started their grouping, they’ve also come under fire from the executives. I agree, lets say that its good lets bring the party up but 2008 is very near the corner. I am not too sure that we, I’m saying anything could happen. It is possible it could happen but it is not probable that come 2008 we (CPP) shall be in power,” he said.

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