23 January 2006

House Can’t Declare CPP Seats Vacant

House Can’t Declare CPP Seats Vacant
Monday, 23 January 2006
ImageBarely five days after the news of the dismissal of the Convention People’s Party’s (CPP) sacrificial trio broke out, there have been controversial and conflicting debates and arguments over the fate of their seats.

While some members of the public including legal brains have openly stated that the three, Hon. Freddie Blay, MP for Ellembelle, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, MP for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem and Kojo Armah cannot continue to represent the CPP in Parliament, others also hold the contrary view that their supposed dismissal cannot have any effect on their continued stay in Parliament as MPs.

In an interview with a legal expert on the possibilities available in view of the recent development at the CPP front, he debunked the argument that the three could lose their seats subsequent to their dismissal from the party.

Quoting article 97 clause one of the 1992 constitution to support his argument, the legal expert contended that it is only when an MP leaves the party of which he was a member at the time of his election to Parliament to join another party or seeks to remain in Parliament as an Independent member that he could lose his seat.

He said dismissal from one’s party is not a prerequisite for one to lose his seat, in view of the fact that differences on matters affecting the party as well as the individual MP’s stance on matters before the House could lead to the party dismissing the MP. “But that alone should not be interpreted to mean that he loses his seat in view of that difference because the MP’s position may be in the overall national interest while that of his party may only go to suit the policies and ideology of the party,” the legal expert said.

“Which one is better, to serve one’s party irrespective of national interest or vice verse,” he queried and added that “whoever raises such an issue against the three CPP MPs due to the dismissal by the party’s central committee will be wasting everybody’s time.”

The dismissal of the three, he said, is of no consequential effect and that it is an order that cannot have any effect on the three MPs as far as their seats are concerned. He said once an MP is elected to Parliament he cannot be tossed about by anybody to go against his conscience or the national interest. The CPP, he said, should have exercise restraint and devised a strategy to resolve their differences other than what they did, which has plunged the party into a mess.

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