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General News of Friday, 30 December 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

NDC early congress will be in two years’ time – Nketia

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it has up to 2018 to elect its national executives to lead the party to the 2020 general elections.

At a news conference in Accra Thursday, NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia says party members calling for an early congress should refer to the party’s constitution for guidance.

“An early congress is provided for by our constitution,” he said, cautioning NDC members to desist from acts that contradict the position of the constitution.

NDC functionaries have come under intense pressure from party faithful to hold an early congress following its defeat in the country’s December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The NDC lost its majority in Ghana’s legislature as well as the presidential poll. Incumbent President John Mahama suffered defeat in the hands of New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

President Mahama polled 44.40 percent of valid votes cast against 53.85 percent recorded by Nana Akufo-Addo.

NDC leadership has been blamed for the party’s defeat. The party’s 2016 Campaign Coordinator, Kofi Adams has been pressurized to step down but he has declined.
Mr Asiedu Nketia who himself has been told by NDC supporters to abdicate his position said the party's prescription about the matter has to be heeded.

“An early congress is provided for by our constitution. When we are in government, there is a time frame for our elections to be held. When we are out of power there is a time frame within which the elections should be held.
We begin our elections with branch elections then we proceed to constituency elections and then we go to regional elections,” he said.

According to him, the constituency and regional elections would pave way for the three major national elections namely the Youth Congress, Women's Congress and the main party congress that would elect the next flagbearer.

"When we are in power, we are allowed to hold the congress and select our leadership one year before the elections, when we are out of power, we do it within two years. That is why we call it early congress,” he added.

The NDC constitution in Article 21 states that: “There shall be a Congress of the Party to be held once every four years as the National Congress which shall be the highest decision making body of the Party.”

It continued that: “The National Congress shall be convened by the General Secretary acting on the direction of the National Executive Committee stating the date and venue.”