NPP To Go Ahead With October Congress

Mr Kwabena Adjapong,General Secretary,NPP (1)The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwabena Adjei Agyepong has stated emphatically that the party cannot do without its October 18 National Delegates’ Congress to elect a presidential candidate even though some powerful groups within are advocating for the event to be abandoned.

Several leading members, including Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor, former Minister of Defence and The Interior, Isaac Osei, Member of Parliament for Subin and the party’s external branches, have proposed that the aspirants who received the highest votes in the just ended Special Electoral College be given the nod as the automatic presidential candidate to lead the NPP into the 2016 general elections.

They argued that this would save the party from expending money, time and logistics on the pending National Congress, thus it should rather use these resources during the electioneering campaign.

Their assertion has become more vociferous after Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, twice presidential candidate of the party, won a landside victory in the Electoral College, polling 598 votes out of 740.

This represented 80.81 per cent as against 59 votes (7.9 per cent) obtained by his closest rival, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen.

However, some party connoisseurs have opposed the move, saying cutting corners would amount to breaching the party’s constitution.

Apparently “Article 12 (5) (1) of the contitution stipulates that: Where there is only one (1) contestant for nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, the National Congress shall acclaim his nomination as the party’s presidential candidate”.

“We respect our constitution. Our constitution dictates to us that this was the first stage and now we have the five candidates that will go on to the second stage.”

He said it was important that the party complied with its laws and that every delegate should be allowed to vote for his referred presidential hopeful.

According to Mr. Agyepong the constitution stipulates that there should be two levels of electing the NPP’s presidential candidate where possible, and that the Special College was the first stage to reduce the seven candidates to five, per the constitution.

According to Mr Agyapong the party cannot ask any aspirant who qualified to step down.

Meanwhile, Joe Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament and one of the five aspirants who qualified for the October 18 after Sunday’s polls has announced that he  would not contest.

He explained that the decision was personal and voluntary.

“I am not going to contest in the October 17 elections, we are all going to work for the NPP to come back to power,” he added.

Mr. Francis Addai-Nimo who surprisingly came third said he would only take a definite decision after a broad consultation with his team and having examined the results.

The MP for Mampong polled 22 votes of the 740 votes, representing 2.8 per cent, but maintained his performance came as no surprise due his hard work.

“I was confident before the elections. I was confident that I will definitely emerge as one of the five and so it gives me the encouragement and it showed that interacting with the delegates nationwide paid off,” he said.

“I have been so much encouraged by the turnout of events and many have congratulated me for my efforts and that means the future is so bright,” he added.

In other development, eight external branches of the party have suggested to Mr. Kyerematen, Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw and Mr Addai-Nimo not to contest the October congress in other to forestall unity in the party.

The branches comprised United States of America, China, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Nigeria and Japan.

“As much as we respect and recognise the constitutional rights of the other candidates to go for the October 18 elections, we humbly appeal to them to consider the larger picture, in the supreme interest of the party and throw their weight behind the winner of the Special Electoral College.

Dr. Charles Dwamena, spokesperson the branches, commended the decision of Mr Ghartey who decided to quit the race, even though he qualified for the next stage.

The group advised Nana Akufo-Addo to ask his supporters to refrain from acts that could scold the other aspirants and their followers.

“In addition, we encourage Nana Addo to open his doors to all other candidates by extending an olive branch so that we can form a united front to prosecute the 2016 general election,”, they said.

They further commended the hierarchy of the NPP for organising a successful poll on Sunday.

By Ian Motey

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