Snippets of information filtering through to The Chronicle newspaper indicate that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is pushing for the postponement of its National Congress to next year, in negation of the provisions of the party’s constitution.
The decision is also coming at the time the party is already on the financial marketing sourcing 7.9 million Euros to organise biometric cards for its members.
The Party’s National Congress is tentatively scheduled to take place in December 2013, as provided by Article 21 of the party’s constitution, which provides that there shall be a National Congress every four years.
Since the last National Congress of the party held at Tamale in 2009, it was the expectation of the members that the party goes to Congress in December this year.
While the NEC is pushing for an expanded electoral college, which requires an amendment of the constitution at a Congress, it would have nothing to do with a Congress this year.
The paper has gathered that the NEC has recommended the issuance of biometric membership cards to all members of the 26,002 branches nationwide, before the National Congress is held. But The Chronicle has gathered that people who push for congress this year at NEC meetings are being threatened and intimidated with sanctions by the national executives.
The position of the national executives is said to be the reason for the appointment of the former Local Government Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, as Chairman of the Committee on Biometric Membership cards, instead of Mr. Kofi Portuphy, Director of Elections of the party. Mr. Portuphy has declared his intention to aspire for the chairmanship slot of the party.
Meanwhile, the NDC is said to be faced with raising a whopping 7.9 million euros for the biometric membership cards, if it decides to go for that at the expense of the Congress this year.
Two companies from Germany and South Africa have put in their bids to produce the biometric membership cards for the party.
It would cost the NDC 7.9 million euros if the cards are provided by the German company, while the South African company is charging 7.2 million euros.
Even though a delegation of the German company and the Committee on Biometric Membership cards reportedly met with the Vice President last week, in respect of the project, there is no firm decision as to which of the two proposals would be adopted by the NDC.
The cost of the cards has been criticised by some members of the party, especially, when the country is experiencing labour unrest for lack of funds in salaries and allowances to workers. But it looks that the position of some concerned party members (names withheld) would not influence the issue, as they are being threatened with dismissal and intimidations.
They might lose their ministerial positions if they press further for constitutional amendments and a congress.
Source: Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi/The Chronicle
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