21October2014

Articles

NPP National Elections In Danger

There is a ground swell among grassroot members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) against the decision of the current National Executives to conduct the elections of National Officers on Regional basis instead of through the National Conference as prescribed by the constitution of the party.

Beneath this looming danger is the suspicion that the current National Executives who are themselves seeking re-election and yet are actually managing the electoral process, may be up to some tricks with this innovation to decentralize what otherwise should be a National event.

Again, there are outstanding issues of accountability which the current National Executives and their supporters appear to be avoiding. At a National Conference, the National Chairman is obliged to give a report and the National Treasurer a statement of account.

This obviously is not an exercise that the National Executives want to go through now as it may affect their fortunes for re-election.

Members of Parliament (MPs) of the NPP alone are said to have contributed over Five Million Ghana Cedis (GHS5 million or 500 billion old Cedis) to the National Executive Committee of the party in the last four years.

There is also an unknown amount of money that was collected from the registration of members, as well as the text messaging fund raising innovation that the National Executive Committee introduced. The SCANDAL will return to this subject of accountability in subsequent editions. After all, it is said that those who call for EQUITY MUST COME WITH CLEAN HANDS.

Article 9 of the NPP constitution stipulates among other things that the National Annual Delegates Conference shall deliberate and make appropriate resolutions on the following:

A. The National Chairperson’s Report

B. The National Treasurer’s Statement of Accounts

C. Instruct the General Secretary and the National Treasurer to file the appropriate returns to the Electoral Commission.

D. And Elect National Officers when required.

In all these, the presence of at least One-Third of the delegates of the National Delegates Conference shall be necessary to constitute a quorum of the Conference.

From the above, it is clear that the appropriate and only forum for the election of National Officers of the party is the National Annual Delegates Conference (NADC). So then, the next logical question to ask is why the blatant circumvention of the constitution and whether national officers who are elected through the proposed regional basis can be deemed to have been properly elected?

The press release from the National Executive Committee that communicated the decision to carry out the election of National Officers at the regional level did not assign any reasons for the decision, but from serial callers and grapevine reports, it all has to do with lack of funds.

This is where the issue of accountability kicks in. But most importantly, lack of funds cannot be the reason to run away from a National Delegates Conference, especially so when the party has not had a single national Delegates Conference since 2010.

Messers Kwabena Agyapong and Nana Ohene Ntow have both argued for a National Delegates Conference and have explained the importance and advantage of bringing all party executives together at one location to elect their National Officers. The national outlook it gives to the party, the momentum it builds, the inspiration and the media mileage the party receives from such an event cannot be lost on the managers of the party.

Besides, if funding is really the issue, how come the NEC has not communicated this to the National Council so that a Special Fund Raising could be organized to solve the matter? Fund raising to organize programmes for the party has been done before and can be done again.

Having said all this, the bottom line is that There cannot be any reasonable excuse to go against the constitution. The constitution says national officers should be elected at a national delegates conference and nowhere else.

Source: The Scandal