A meeting called by the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference to find an amicable solution to the controversial creation of 45 new constituencies has ended in a deadlock with the political parties sticking to their entrenched positions.
The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie told Joy News shortly after the meeting that the NPP has taken no hard-line position on the matter except to “operate in the overall interest of the country.”
He explained that interest to mean that the time is not appropriate for the creation of 45 new constituencies- the same position the party took before it entered into Tuesday's meeting.
“It is not an intransigent position,” he said, adding our “position has been well thought through.”
The NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia described the meeting as a good opportunity for the clergy to hear the sides of the political parties on the matter, but stopped short of saying whether the ruling party, which has been vehement in its support of the new constituencies, is ready to back down.
“The religious leaders have appreciated the various positions better,” he said.
But the Convener of the meeting, Most Reverend Joseph Osei-Bonsu, President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference told Joy News said they are unperturbed about the seeming lack of consensus after the first meeting.
He said they have arranged another meeting with the parties as well as the Electoral Commissioner next to find a lasting solution to the impasse.
He will not preempt what the discussion will be when they meet, except to remain optimistic that consensus will be reached.
The Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance, Dr Emmanuel Akwetey described the meeting as a “good process and a good beginning.”
He said previous attempts to get all the political parties to meet even under ROPAL were a bit challenging.
He stated that dialogue does not resolve differences after just a first meeting, adding with “faith and perseverance” a useful agreement will be reached.