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General News of Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Source: Crusading Guide

NPP to force candidates on constituencies

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It seems the National Organiser of the New Patriotic Party, (NPP) Lord Commey, more than ever, is poised to break all obstacles in his way and implement his party's decision to boycott the holding of primaries to elect its parliamentary candidates in some constituencies.

Lord Commey lambasted his critics who oppose the proposed "consensus building" strategy and emphasized that there was nowhere that his party’s constitution explicitly states that at all cost, preliminary elections must be held before a parliamentary candidate could be selected.

"It’s quite disturbing that though I keep explaining this simple issue, some people who do not understand our party’s constitution keep saying we want to impose candidates. They are two different things.

"The misinformation they are giving can rather land our party in crisis. And if they have other hidden motives for saying so, then they should spit it out. There are some in our party who understand the issue but because of cowardice, have left Lord Commey to do all the talking as if I took the decision alone", Lord Commey complained.

The National Organiser explained that in politics, "there comes a time when without compromising on laid down principles, common sense should be applied".

Asked to explain, Lord Commey said ''just as how people are complaining that the multiplicity of the aspiring flagbearers can split the party, the same applies to the multiplicity of interested aspiring parliamentary candidates in our constituencies dividing the party at the grassroots. And in constituencies where our research shows that holding of primaries would not be in our interest, we would build consensus by getting the interested parties to agree on a single candidate.

“Is that imposition? Please we are not stupid to hold useless primaries that would divide us".

Citing a scenario to underscore his position, Mr. Commey gave an example where the sitting MP in a constituency was interested in the seat, the District or Metropolitan Chief Executive has started undermining the sitting MP because he was also interested in the seat, and the Constituency Chairman had also expressed interest and started forming camps.

The National Organiser explained that if such a situation was allowed to prevail and the various interested parties allowed to form camps and campaign, past records in the party have shown that it is always a difficult challenge to unite the various camps after primaries are held and other influential power blocks within the party do not win.

"The Media can write what they think, but we are the politicians and we understand the game and what can make us win or lose", Lord Commey stated, adding that "For the fact that a party member qualifies to contest the seat does not mean the person has what it takes to win the seat."

He said though the NPP would not compromise on its democratic principles, the party could not afford to sit and watch people who were not marketable and "winnable" candidates contest.

"Our Constitution is such that you can even come from another political party but once the National, Regional and Constituency Executive Committee agree that you can win us the seat, we would come for you, and we've done that before", he said.

The National Organiser expressed misgivings about party members who though had not filed their nomination to contest the parliamentary seat, had started forming camps to advertise themselves and campaign as if they were given the nod.

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