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Politics of Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Source: Graphic Online

NPP regional chairmen want election date changed

Regional Chairmen of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have petitioned the National Council (NC) of the party to change the date for the election of the party’s presidential candidate from December 6, to a day in September 2014.

According to them, if the party maintains the December 6 date, every effort made to address the current issues confronting it would yield no positive result and would consequently cost NPP a great deal in its collective effort to unseat the ruling National Democratic Congress in 2016.

Addressing journalists in Accra yesterday, the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of NPP, Mr Kwaku Asoma-Cheremeh, who spoke on behalf of the group, said “It is our considered view that the interest of the party as regards the 2016 general elections will better be served if a date is fixed within September 2014, for the election of a flag bearer”.

Present at the press conference were six regional chairmen of the party, including the Ashanti regional chairman, Mr Bernard Antwi-Bosiako; the Central regional chairman, Mr Robert Kutin; and the Greater Accra regional Chairman, Mr Ishmael Ashitey.

The others were the Northern regional Chairman, Daniel Abugri Naabu; Upper East, Adams Mahama; and Upper West, Alhaji Abdul Rahaman.

Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said in 2010, the NPP elected the party’s flag bearer on August 7 after the nominations had been opened on June 6, adding that the party could do the same this time around.

“However, we propose the month of September because of the possibility of the Special Electoral College shortlisting the contestants to five as spelt out under Article 12(5) (b) of the NPP Constitution,” he added.

According to Mr Asoma-Cheremeh, a date later than a day in September would only create ample platform for insults, abuses, cross-fires, vilifications as well as image destruction of aspirants.

“We need to take a decision that will curtail the negative tendencies that are seeking to characterise the Presidential primary even before nominations were opened on June 6, 2014,” he added.

Additionally, Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said, if the date was not changed, the election of the party’s flag bearer would interrupt the District Assembly Elections, which would be held within December, this year.

“We, as a party, cannot focus on two elections (flag bearer and district assembly) at the same time. It is simply not possible,” he added

Mr Asoma-Cheremeh said any delay in the election of the party’s flag bearer would lead to more frustration on the part of the NPP supporters.

“And with the growing expression of intolerance from supporters of the various aspiring candidates, why will anyone want to delay the congress?” he asked.

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