It has been alleged that there are attempts by the leadership of the majority group in Parliament to impose Andrews Amoako Asiamah, the independent MP from Fomena, as an unopposed Parliamentary Candidate on the Fomena NPP come 2024.
At a press conference held at the party office in Adansi Fomena today, some aggrieved members of the party indicate that they are aware of attempts by the 1st Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Wusu (popularly known as Joe Wise), who is also the Member of Parliament for Bekwai, and the Majority leader in Parliament and MP for Suame Constituency, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, to impose Asiamah on the party.
Spokesperson for the Aggrieved members, Michael Ankapong, the NPP Fomena Constituency IT Coordinator and Youth Organizer hopeful, stated that: “We are also aware of attempts by some NPP Members of Parliament of nearby constituencies, including Joe Osei-Wusu of Bekwai, who has been an Independent MP himself in the past and Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the MP for Suame and Majority Leader, to reconcile Asiamah and his close associates with the NPP party leadership in the Fomena constituency, ostensibly to pave the way for Asiamah’s return to the party and ultimately gaining control of the party in Fomena.”
Forfeiture of membership
According to Article 3(9)(1) of the Constitution of the NPP: “A Member of the Party, who stands as an independent candidate against the officially elected member of the Party, or who joins or declares his or her support for another Political Party, or for an independent candidate, when the Party has sponsored a candidate in a general or by-election, automatically forfeits his or her membership of the Party”.
It will be recalled that Asiamah was the NPP MP for Fomena in the 7th Parliament until the run up to the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, when the Fomena seat was declared vacant because he had filed nomination forms to contest the elections as an independent candidate at a time when the party had duly elected a Parliamentary candidate, thereby forfeiting his membership of the NPP in accordance with Article 3(9)(1) of the Party’s Constitution.
It is in light of these that the Aggrieved NPP Members in Fomena Constituency are insisting that regardless of the fact that Asiamah chose to do business with the NPP group in Parliament, there was no doubt that he is no longer a member of the NPP, and neither are his close associates who campaigned vigorously and openly for him in the 2020 elections.
The group in their statement also indicated that: “Article 3(9)(2) of the Constitution also clearly stipulates that, upon forfeiture of membership, which Asiamah and his close associates did in November 2020, such persons may reapply for membership of the party and may be readmitted on conditions stipulated in the Constitution. To the best of our knowledge, we are not aware of any reapplication for membership of our great party on the part of Asiamah or any of his close associates.”
Reapply for membership
The group is further demanding free and fair elections in Fomena Constituency and urged Asiamah and his close associates to reapply for membership of the party in accordance with the laid down procedure, if indeed they were interested in holding positions within the party at the constituency level now or in the near future.
“In the case of Asiamah in particular, this will mean him having to vacate his seat as an Independent MP for Fomena (and by extension the 2nd Deputy Speakership) in accordance with Article 97(1)(h) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, thereby triggering a by-election, for which he must contest an internal party primary election first, subject to Article 12 of the NPP Constitution, in particular, Article 12(4)”, the group indicated.
“Article 12(4) of the NPP Constitution stipulates that: “A member applying for nomination as the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate should be a known and active member for at least two (2) years, provided that, in appropriate cases, the National Executive Committee, in consultation with the Regional and Constituency Executives, may dispense with this requirement” they further noted.
The group further stressed that the Fomena constituency was now an orphan constituency for the NPP, having lost the seat to an Independent candidate in the 2020 parliamentary elections.
Thus, they found it hard to believe that “the party will once again use the same playbook it used in the 2012 elections, where parliamentary primaries were only conducted in some constituencies that had Independent MPs, three (3) months to the 2012 elections, when a by-election was not possible, thereby skewing such primaries for the Independent MPs who were granted amnesty and welcomed back to the party – some of whom capitalized on this unfair advantage and uneven playing field.”
“We therefore demand transparency and accountability from the leadership of the party, especially at the national level, but also at the regional and constituency levels, with regards to Fomena constituency and the role of Asiamah in party matters, since he is not a member of our great party” the aggrieved members said in the statement.