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Three Leading Members Dismissed from Ghana's Opposition Convention Peoples Party

In Ghana, the opposition Convention People’s Party has been thrown into disarray by a decision to dismiss three of its leading members. They are Freddy Blay, a member of parliament for Ellembele and Ghana’s first deputy speaker of parliament; Kwesi Ndoum, a member for Komenda, Edina, Eguafo and Abirem and the minister for public sector reform; and Kojo Armah, a member for Evalue-Gwira and a former district chief executive for the Nzema East District Assembly.

The decision to sack them was taken at a recent meeting of the party’s Central Committee. The men had recently held a press conference calling for the resignation of the party’s national executives on grounds of incompetence. They said the executives were behind the failure of the party to achieve its objectives. Some leading CPP members describe the dismissal as a coup d’etat led by the managing editor of the “Insight” newspaper, Kwesi Pratt, and supported by the national chairman of the party, Edmund Delle. The decision to dismiss them will be referred to the party’s disciplinary committee.

Vladimir Antwi-Danso is a leading member of the Convention People’s Party. While talking to English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey, Antwi- Danso said, “The three members of parliament.... expressed their misgivings about the current leadership and asked them to resign. I think this did not go down well with the executive (which) hastily met at Kumasi; unfortunately, (it) also announced that (it has) dismissed the three members of the party. I thought this was an unfortunate knee-jerk reaction. Since the elections in 2004, some of us have been calling for some restructuring, some movement forward. But unfortunately (party executives) did not heed to our advice. And this has brought us down to this point.”

Antwi-Danso said the executive has been very lethargic and very inept and dictatorial, not allowing dissenting views, and has been unable to substantially move the party forward. He says there may also be some moles in the party acting on behalf of competitors, especially the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

On the issue of whether the controversy within the party could lead to its demise, Antwi-Danso said, “I don’t believe that we are tearing apart. Now the chaff is being separated from the cereal. So we could see clearly. Everybody knows that the problem is with the (party leadership). Now they are in disarray and I would not be surprised within the next few days if they don’t give way. If they don’t, we will force them one way or the other to call for an emergency congress. And I know for sure that all the constituencies don’t like what is going on.”