Intense backstage manoeuvres are underway within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) as the party gears up for its December congress to elect members to occupy various National Executive positions.
The positions expected to be keenly contested for are the Chairman, general Secretary and three vice-chairpersons currently occupied by Mr E.T. Mensah, Alhaji Huudu Yahaya and Ms. Sherry Ayittey. The names that have come up for chairmanship position include the incumbent, Dr Kwabena Adjei, who is expected to face a stiff challenge from party activist from the Western Region and retired military officer, Colonel Kaku Korsah.
There are indications that if Alhaji Yahaya does not restate his claim for the vice-chairmanship position, he will contest the chairmanship of the party. It is also being speculated that Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), who had earlier indicated his interest in the vice-chairmanship slot, may enter the chairmanship race.
Other names that have dropped for the Vice-chairmanship race include those of the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, and Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the incumbent National Organizer, who is also the Eastern Regional Minister. The eligibility of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, as well as others in government positions, will, however, depend on the outcome of an ongoing discussion within the party whether to allow people holding government positions to contest for party positions because of their tight official schedules.
In spite of the lively activities behind the scenes, the real players involved are tight-lipped over their ambitions due to an internal arrangement barring open declaration of interest in national executive positions until all regional congresses are held. For fear of violating the party’s rules, many of the leading members, including incumbent office holders, as well as new aspirants, have confined their campaigns to text messages, phone chats and small caucus meetings with party allies and agents, outside the media glare.
According to Daily Graphic sources within the party, both Dr Adjei and Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, the General Secretary, would seek re-election but they would face stiff opposition. With the exit of Mr Ofosu-Ampofo, who marshaled the party’s supporters and foot soldiers for victory in 2008, and the Youth Organizer, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, who now doubles as the Communications Ministers, there is serious underground work to fill their positions.
For the National Organizer position, one strong name that has popped up is the current Deputy National Organizer, Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan. So far, five names have come up for the National Youth Organizer position Ras Mubarak, Joe Ahamadzi, the chairman of the recently formed Foot Soldiers Association, Mr Michael Kumbuor, a youth activist in the Northern Region, Mr Ludwig Hlodze, a former Youth Organizer who is also the Schedule Officer at the Castle, and Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, the official Spokesperson for the Vice-President, Mr John Dramani Mahama.
Meanwhile, Dr Spio-Garbrah is set to be the first culprit to flout the convention by declaring during his recent press conference, that he would contest for the vice-chairperson position. When reached for his reaction, Dr. Spio-Garbrah said there was no such convention and challenged those who believed he had defied such an agreement to make it public.
Meanwhile, Mr Asiedu-Nketia has attributed the current peace, lack of petty squabbles and divisions associated with internal party elections to strict adherence to disciplinary codes, guidelines and the use of time-tested conventions.
He, however, said the party was jealously guarding its convections because their observance had yielded many fruits. He noted, for example, that the party had been able to complete more than 60 per cent of its nation-wide ward and constituency elections with few or no problems at all.
The General Secretary, who was speaking to the Daily Graphic in Accra about preparations towards the party’s December 2009 national delegates congress, explained that the key issue at the congress was the decision to impress upon leading members of the party interested in national and regional executive positions, as well as incumbents seeking another term, not to openly start campaigning.
Source: Daily Graphic
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