Felix Owusu Agyapong says the NPP did not protect him against other candidates who contested in the 2004 primaries.
A former Majority leader in Ghana’s Parliament, Felix Owusu Agyepong has rejected claims that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2004 stopped all party members who wanted to challenge him for the Akyem Swedru seat.
The denial comes on the back of claims by the Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu that Mr. Owusu Agyepong was allowed to contest his Parliamentary seat unopposed in the 2004 election.
“What I do know is that in 2000, some people descended on J.H Mensah, the party came to protect him because he was the Minority leader and it cannot be done.
In 2004, the same thing happened to Felix Owusu Agyapong and the President at the time called people, invited them to the castle and resolved this matter,” he said. He therefore questioned why he has been left to his fate to battle it out with six other contestants and thus suggested that the NPP leadership must formulate a policy to prevent other party members from contesting him in their upcoming parliamentary primaries.
Speaking to Citi News however, the former Minister for Parliamentary Affairs insisted that ex-President Kufuor never intervened on his behalf. “The party did not support me against any other candidate and the facts are quite different,” he said.
He was nonetheless of the view that the NPP should have a mechanism in place that will encourage picking the best candidates who will win seats and perform well in Parliament.
“We should build a system that will allow the people to recognize that if you are a Parliamentary candidate and you are a Parliamentarian, they should hold you in a good position in Parliament,” he Felix Owusu advised.
“If he can win the seats for you but he cannot be good in Parliament, then what other thing do you do?” he asked. The former Majority leader maintained that putting such a measure in place is the only way to make things work.
According to Felix Owusu, problems are likely to arise if the decision is forced on other party members who are willing to contest such persons.
“You have to make the people realize that it’s an honour having your Parliamentarian as the majority leader or minority leader or in leadership; that it’s an honour having your Parliamentarian as the chairman of the finance committee or other important committees.”
“This means that you have to build systems! It’s not a question of just saying that by all means, because he is the majority or minority leader, he should be an automatic MP – No!” he added.