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Politics of Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Source: The Republic

NDC Youth Organiser election hits re-run

The heavily disputed Deputy Youth Organiser contest of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) may be re-run, the Republic newspaper has gathered.

According to the General Secretary of the Party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia (General Mosquito), the executives of the party are awaiting a report about happenings during the election from the Electoral Commission (EC) before a definitive decision would be taken.

The feuding contestants– the incumbent James Kofi Fonu Kpatakpa and Abigail Elorm Mensah, who believes she won the elections, have refused a compromise with both threatening to seek legal redress.

The Republic gathered that they have submitted official complaints to the party’s decision-making body, and according to General Mosquito, the party is “looking into it”.

The Saturday, December 6 delegates’ congress to elect the National Youth Organiser, his deputies and the National Womens Organiser marred by confusion when preliminary vote counting saw Abigail Mensah causing an upset as she was in the clear lead over the incumbent James Fonu.

However, Mr Fonu Kpatakpa protested and called for a recount, during the recount, the lights in the collation centre curiously went off, when it was restored and the results of the recount was announced, the votes had dramatically turned in favour of Mr. Fonu. The ensuing confusion saw verbal attacks being hurled across the divide, resulting in the elections ending inconclusively because officials of the EC had to be whisked away by the Police amidst the confusion.

The EC’s hurried departure meant no declaration was made.

In a telephone conversation with the Republic newspaper, Ms Mensah explained that after the elections, preliminary figures from the collation indicated that she had won, but agents of the incumbent Fonu put up a totally different figure, resulting in a scuffle and an eventual discontinuation of the process.

There were reports later that results of the disputed deputy national youth organizer had been declared by the Chairman of the Legal and Constitution Affairs Ken Dzirasah, an allegation Mr Dzirasah has vehemently denied.

“It has come to my notice that a message is circulating on social media that I, KEN DZIRASAH, supervised the declaration of the outcome of the disputed deputy National youth organizer elections. I want to state emphatically that I have NOT supervised such an exercise at the polling station or the Police Station as it’s been maliciously purported in that said message been circulated,” Mr. Dzirasah clarified in a statement issued on Sunday, December 7, 2014.

“…as the head of the Constitutional and Legal Committee of the party sworn in any winner of the elections…It is the sole responsibility of the electoral officer on duty to declare results and not me as a party official. I was at the congress to administer the oath of office for whoever wins, a duty I have been unable to perform since no results were declared by the electoral officer on duty,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ms. Elorm Mensah has vowed to seek legal redress if any decision taken by the party did not satisfy her.

“It is rather unfortunate that the results were not declared due to the concerns raised with some of the figures. I however remain focused and determined to ensure that the actual verdict of the people which was undoubtedly in my favour is respected,” she vowed in a statement issued on Sunday.

“I want to urge my teeming supporters and agitated delegates to remain calm whiles I pursue justice in this issue. I am resilient and determined to fight for Justice not because it is a must for me to be the deputy national youth organizer, but because we must protect the spirit and the ideas on which the NDC was established,” she promised.

Meanwhile, during the National Youth Organiser contest, new entrant, Abubarkar Sidii from the Upper East Region in a rather surprising turn, defeated incumbent Ludwig Apkene Hlodze from the Volta Region.

Critics who observed the elections told this paper that Mr. Abubarkar Sidii was able to win courtesy of an unexplained cache of cash splashed on delegates. The cash is said to have come from his powerful sponsors.

There were three major elections held last Saturday with the two key positions going to northerners as the National Womens Organiser position was also annexed by Hajia Zenaibu Mahama.

This newspaper can confirm that unfolding events during the elections has sent uncomfortable shivers down the ranks of delegates from the Volta Region, who have started expressing discomfort about the trend of voting for key executive positions in the party.

They contend that their kinsmen are being eliminated systematically from the top positions in the party.

“After a careful look at yesterday's Congress and the upcoming National Congress, the Volta Region may not have a rep at the top Functional Executive Committee. We need to have a regional balance in the  election of our National executives,” an angry delegate told the Republic newspaper after the Saturday December 6 delegates’ congress.

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