Member of Parliament for Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti Region Muntaka Mohammed-Mubarak has cautioned the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Parliament not to underrate the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
He told NPP not to continue on the path of the mistake it immersed itself into before the election of the Speaker of the 8th Parliament.
According to him, if the NPP continues to believe it has the numbers and power and would therefore ignore the National Democratic Congress (NDC), it will continue to get shocked.
His side, he said, had gone to great length to get the NPP to sit and discuss the way forward and come to some understanding but to no avail.
Speaking to THE CUSTODIAN in Parliament last Thursday after the election of the Speaker, the NDC Chief Whip indicated that for two weeks the NPP refused to meet his side, and stressed had such meeting happened the events of the speakership race and the swearing-in of the 8th Parliament would have been different.
“There was this arrogance and thinking they could crash us but I hope this has taught them a lesson. Even we from the NDC have also learned lots of lessons.
“It is clear that this Parliament wants us to all work in the national interest and reach out to each other. Definitely, in reaching out there would be takeaways and giveaways, and if all of us understand that it will help the cause of this country”, he stated.
However, Mr. Muntaka warned that if it is going to be the usual business and the NPP playing smart thinking it could pull a fast one on the NDC then the government will have a very tough time.
According to him, regardless of what the leadership of the NPP wants to portray, the 8th Parliament is a hung Parliament with the two parties controlling 137 seats each and one independent candidate.
In 2009, he pointed out, the NDC had only six seats in Parliament more than the NPP and so he constantly crossed to the other side and reached out to members of the opposition.
He averred that even if President Nana Akufo-Addo decided to appoint only 60 ministers, 31 of them would come from Parliament.
“They (ministers) have to work in the Ministry; they have to travel; they have to do a lot of things so they cannot always be in the House.
“So If they choose to tickle and deceive themselves that they have the numbers so they can behave the way they used to they will be shocked.
“I believe that in the interest of the nation, we in the NDC do not fancy distractions but obviously there are things we would like to add in the best national interest. But the national interest may vary depending on where one is coming from.
“I believe when we build consensus rather than attempting to smash each other, this Parliament may end up being one of the best in the history of the 4th Republic,” he said.
He expressed the hope that both political parties have learned some useful lesson’s from Thursday’s events and now ready to reach out to the other side and work.