Politics of Thursday, 10 October 2013
Source: The New Statesman
The National Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will meet on Thursday to continue deliberations on proposals on the way forward for the party, as it prepares for the 2016 general elections.
Members of the NEC last week agreed to seek further consultations with their constituencies on the proposals from the party's Steering Committee for the holding of internal elections.
However, information available to the New Statesman indicates that the Chairman of the party, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, will not be returning to the NEC meeting with the two proposals for internal elections which have been described as the “top-to-bottom approach” and have generated controversy amongst party members.
Accordingly, the NPP Chairman will be presenting to NEC a steering committee proposal intended for the maintenance of the “status quo” in terms of how internal elections are held in the party.
Sources at the NPP headquarters has hinted the paper that the proposal to be presented by the NPP Chairman today will involve the holding of polling station executive elections first, in November. This will be followed in December by the election of constituency executives and immediately after that, the appointment of deputy constituency executives.
In January next year, as per the revised proposal, the party will hold its regional executive elections, to be followed by the National Delegates' Conference on the 1st of March to elect National Officers.
The paper is reliably informed that the NPP Chairman's position, which some members of NEC rejected, was to allow the current polling station executives to remain in office at least for another year and be elected last, after the primary to elect the flagbearer.
This, in the opinion of Jake, was because they had demonstrated their loyalty in helping the party retrieve some 24,000 pink sheets in record time to enable the party file the petition against the election of President Mahama.
In addition to this, sources say Jake's position was that these polling station executives were in a much better position to know who to select with regards to polling station, constituency, regional and national elections since they have worked with them over the four year period.
This proposal by Jake was kicked against vehemently by some members of NEC present at the previous meeting, with one member, whose name is being withheld, stating: “we know all the polling stations executives are Akufo-Addo's people.”
“Jake was of the belief that if his proposal will be misrepresented by persons to make the general public believe that he was pushing the proposals in order to ensure he kept himself in office, then he will drop his proposals and stick to the status quo. However, the party would have to find ways to address the problems that are confronting the party, for which the 'top-to-bottom' proposal sought to cure,” a source said.
One question which is yet to be answered is when the presidential primary will be held, as a tentative time has not been agreed upon. It is expected that by the end of today's NEC meeting, a date for the presidential primary would be announced. ’
The New Statesman is also reliably informed that the Minority Caucus in parliament are also set to present their own proposals to NEC regarding the holding of early parliamentary primaries so as to give them enough time to prepare for the 2016 elections.