Intense lobbying begins as NDC MPs appoint new leaders

President MillsThe search for a Majority Leader in Parliament has triggered an aggressive lobbying among National

Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs), Joy News has learnt.

The Majority caucus is scheduled to select new leaders this week and reports indicate certain key members would leave nothing to chance to grab the post of Majority Leader and leader of the august House.

The Functional Executive Committee of the NDC, made up of five MPs, the President and some leading members of the party, is expected to announce a new Majority Leader on Tuesday.

This has been necessitated by President Mills’ appointment of Majority Leader Alban Bagbin as Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister to replace Mr Albert Abongo.

The replacement of Alban Babgin and his team was dogged by controversy after claims by two outgoing ministers that President Mills had asked them to take over the leadership mantle in Parliament.

However, this was fiercely opposed by the NDC MPs who argued that they should have been consulted in the selection of their leaders.

But in a meeting with the MPs at the Castle last week, President Mills explained he only suggested the nomination of Cletus Avoka and Rashid Pelpuo as Majority Leader and Deputy Majority leader respectively.

He also dismissed suggestions that there was a conspiracy to remove the current Majority leadership, who is perceived to be belonging to the Rawlings faction.

The controversy is expected to be brought to a halt when the Functional Executive Committee of the party meets on Tuesday.

At that meeting, Joy News sources say the FEC will be deciding between the President’s nominees Cletus Avoka and Rashid Pelpuo on the one hand and the MP for Tamale North Alhaji Abukari Sumani and that of Ashaiman Alfred Agbesi – whose names have come up for the Majority and Deputy Majority Leader positions – on the other hand.

The sources say Alfred Agbesi could be considered for the Deputy Majority Leader’s job for two main factors – to ensure regional balance in the leadership and to compensate him for not been considered for a Cabinet job since his constituency is a strong pillar in NDC.

The need for a regional balance has come about as a result of complaints by a section of the majority that it was unfair for both Majority and Deputy Majority Leaders to come from the northern part of the country.