The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has barred sitting Members of Parliament, Ministers of State, members of the Council of Elders, Ambassadors and District Chief Executives from contesting for positions in the national executive elections within the party in the upcoming national delegates’ congress, scheduled to take place in Tamale in the Northern Region, on the 15th to 17th of January 2010.
According to the party, the directive was to prevent the above listed persons from holding dual positions in the party, as a way of deepening the democratic credentials of the party and tapping the potential of other party members.
The party has in addition directed that it would not accept the nominations of officers at lower levels of the party, who want to climb the political ladder, unless such people decide to resign from their positions.
Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, popularly known as ‘General Mosquito”, General Secretary of the party, said “no nominations shall be accepted from people holding positions at the lower level of the party, unless they resign from that lower position. Ministers of state, members of parliament, ambassadors, district chief executives and members of the Council of State are ineligible to contest the national elections,” he said.
Party members can start to declare their intensions to contest, he said, adding that all individuals interested in particular positions were free to start from December 1st this year, and that nominations would be opened for 7 days and close 72 hours before the main congress.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia, flanked by party bigwigs, was of the view that the decision of the National Executive Council (NDC) was to avoid a conflict of interest as witnessed during their last Koforidua congress. He noted that those interested in the national chairmanship positions are to pay a non refundable fee of GH˘2,500, vice national chairmen GH˘2,000, general secretary aspirants GH˘2,000, deputy general secretary aspirants GH˘1,500, while the national organizer aspirants would also pay a non-refundable fee of GH˘1,500.
National propaganda secretary, national treasurer, national youth organizer, and the national women’s organizer aspirants would also pay a non-refundable fee of GH˘1,000.
Those contesting for deputy positions would also pay a flat rate of GH˘500. This amount, he said, was to help organize the elections, considering the size of the congress, following the expansion of the Electoral College for the youth and the women congresses.
To ensure fairness in the vetting processes, he averred that the vetting committee would consist of representatives of the parliamentary caucus of the party, representatives of the council of elders and the chairman of the national disciplinary committee.
The NDC General Secretary who indicated that the national youth and national women’s congresses would be held on January 8th and 9th at Sunyani and Winneba respectively, was not happy about how some regions were unable to organize elections.
According to him, even though 157 out of 230 constituencies conducted their elections which went on successfully, Greater Accra had not conducted one out of its 27 constituencies and appealed to all regional and constituency chairmen, across board, to double their efforts to organize elections. “Chairmen of these constituencies are strongly urged to double their efforts to avoid their constituencies being disenfranchised at both the regional and national elections,” he noted, drawing their attention to article 19 section 2 of the party’s constitution.
General Mosquito appealed to all aggrieved members who took legal actions against the party to reconsider their decision to withdraw the case and channel it through the appropriate procedures of the party. To him failure by any member to do so by exhausting all the grievance procedures of the party would be sanctioned.
The NEC notes with concern a few cases of aggrieved members of the NDC resorting to court actions or media publications without exhausting the internal grievance procedures of the party. This behaviour is clearly in contravention of article 40 section 3 of the constitution.
He continued, “NEC hereby directs that all such party members should re-direct their actions from the courts of law to the internal structures of the party first or be subjected to the disciplinary action at the appropriate levels.”
Responding to seemingly battles within the party, he dismissed existence of cracks within the party and noted that all that is going on was a healthy debate.
Source: The Chronicle
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