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Politics of Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Source: Ghanaian Palaver

NPP Special congress threatened with another injunction

Ghana's largest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party, is scheduled to hold a Special Delegates Congress on Sunday, August 31, 2014 to reduce the number of presidential aspirants from seven to five. According to the party's Constitution (as amended) whenever there are more than five persons vying for the position Presidential Candidate, a Special Electoral College must be constituted to reduce the number of contestants to five.

This is the first time this constitutional provision is being tested since the NPP's Constitution was amended. After countless delays, the party finally opened nominations and at the close of nominations, seven persons had made their intentions to contest the presidential primaries of the party known. All the aspirants were successful and therefore the Special Electoral College was constituted.

Information reaching the Ghanaian Palaver, however, indicates that certain quarters of the party are not happy about the manner with which the electoral process is being handled. They are of the view that certain persons are speed balling the process to obtain a preferred outcome. Persons from the disgruntled quarters have therefore decided to send their complaints to the High Court.

The Ghanaian Palaver has seen a draft copy of the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim and another document titled "Ex Parte Motion for An Order of Interlocutory Injunction". The suit is against the New Patriotic Party, Paul Afoko (Chairman) and Kwabena Agyei Agyepong (General Secretary). One of the Plaintiffs who requested that his name be kept anonymous resides in Ketu South. He explained to the Ghanaian Palaver that a party such as the NPP must not sit down and have its Constitution flouted.

According to him, the Plaintiffs were hopeful that David Hoezame's suit would address these issues but unfortunately it did not. He stated that the Plaintiffs have voiced their concerns to the party leadership however no step has been taken to resolve their issues, and therefore the court was their only way out. He stated that his only prayer is that party members will not view the court action as divisive but rather strengthening the constitutional framework of the party.

The Plaintiff told the Ghanaian Palaver that when they met Kwabena Agyepong in his office, they explained their intended action, and he understood and gave them his blessing. He said that Mr. Agyepong congratulated them on the position they had taken and offered to pay the legal fees except that the Plaintiffs must not mention his name.

The gravamen of the Plaintiff's case is that certain acts have taken place within the party in the last month, which are contrary to the party's Constitution. The Plaintiffs set out those acts specifically, which include the period limited for the Special Congress and the various voting at the external branches. They are praying the High Court to restrain the party from going ahead with the Special Congress on Sunday until the pending determination of the matter.

The Plaintiffs are expected to file the Writ and the Motion on Thursday, and perhaps move the Motion that same day.