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Sunday, April 21, 2024

It’ll be difficult to elect caucus leaders without political parties’ involvement

Dr. Rashid Pelpuo, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Wa Central, says it will be difficult to cut off the involvement of political parties in the election of caucus leaders in Parliament.

His comments come on the back of the resignation of Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu as Majority Leader in Parliament.

As a former Deputy Majority Leader, Dr. Pelpuo told Selorm Adonoo on The Big Issue on Citi FM/Citi TV that despite people making reference to Parliament’s new standing orders on the elimination of political party involvement in the selection of caucus leaders, it will be very difficult to totally cut off party influences on who becomes a caucus leader.

Dr. Rashid Pelpuo explained that “since 1992, it has always been the pronouncement of the party that determines the leader of caucuses of the House. The party will meet and determine who will lead the caucus in the House, and it will play out to the caucus. Even though by our standing orders, it should be the caucus members that meet to decide who leads, it is something bigger than the caucus and so oftentimes, it is the party that determines who leads, and it is then endorsed by caucus members.”

He emphasized that the provision of the new standing orders that are often referenced is not strong enough to eliminate political parties in who becomes a leader because members of parliament are often guided by the political party’s overarching authority that guides their operations in and out of Parliament.

“In the instance of the NDC, people complained because they thought that there was no discussion, they were taken by surprise, they didn’t say they didn’t want their leader, and nobody understood why it happened until later on. In the same particular instance, the same thing has occurred: the biggest caucus in the NPP is the Ashanti caucus and they say they were not consulted and other MPs joined them and made the same pronouncements and then they made reference to the new standing orders that it requires that the members elect their own leader but it is not clear because it does show that the leader emerges from the caucus and so that pronouncement is not strong enough for us to say the party does not matter. The party matters because it is the overarching authority that guides operations in and out of Parliament.”

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