The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority Caucus in Parliament has been mourning the death of the Member of Parliament (MP) for Abetifi in the Eastern Region, Peter Wiafe Pepera.

Mr. Pepera reportedly died of heart attack at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra on Saturday, May 21.

NPP Minority members got the news as they prepared to have dinner at a retreat in the Eastern Region on Saturday.

According to colleague MP for Abuakwa South, also in the Eastern Region, Samuel Ata Akyea described the late MP as a  "cool head and a very affable" person who would greet everyone whenever he gets into the chamber of Parliament.

Mr. Akyea said the late MP always discussed a lot about the economy with him and as a business oriented person, Mr. Pepera believed in the potential of the business environment despite the raw deal by the current regime.

He said the demise of Mr. Pepera is a huge blow for Parliament and for the Party.

"He was a force in the region, was properly networked and a man that you can count on to mobilise resources for political activity," Mr. Akyea said, adding the Mr. Pepera's death will be a drawback for the NPP.

Article 112 (5) of the Constitution says;

"Whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk of Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within seven days after becoming aware that the vacancy has occurred; and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred except that where the vacancy occurred through the death of a member, the by-election shall be held within sixty days after the occurrence of the vacancy."

However, with six months to go for the November polls, there won't be the need for a by-election.

Mr. Akyea explained that "I am tempted to believe that there will not be a by-election because the law states it so that there won't be the need for a by-election." 

Mr. Pepera won his Abetifi seat with a majority 9,724 in the 2012 elections. He was a former Managing Director of Paramount Distilleries.

He celebrated his 62nd birthday on May 9. A holder of MSc (Systems Analysis) from the University of Birmingham, Pepera was a member of the Privileges Committee and the Trade, Industry and Tourism.

He succeeded Eugene Atta Agyapong, who had represented the constituency in the Fourth Republican parliament on the ticket of the NPP.