Politics of Thursday, 15 November 2012

Source: The Accra Times

Independent Candidates Given One Week Ultimatum

Mohammed Saani Ibrahim---.

The Leadership of the ruling National Democratic Congress[NDC] have issued a warning signal to all its members who have decided to contest the December polls as Independent Parliamentary candidates to rescind their decisions.

The NDC have given these candidates just a week to decide whether they would like to continue being NDC members or will proceed to contest in the elections as Independent Parliamentary candidates.

Briefing press men in Accra, NDC General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, quoted certain portions of the Party’s constitution which forbids members from contesting as Independent candidates or on the tickets of other political parties.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia said the NDC unlike in 2008 has full complement of Parliamentary Candidates contesting in all the 275 constituencies nationwide. He was however quick to add that 25 Party members who contested and lost the primaries are going independent.

According to him, the NDC Constitution does not made provision for any party member to contest on the ticket of another party, as independent candidate or campaign for candidates other that of the NDC. It is against this background that the NDC finds the actions of these Independent Candidates as contrary to the party’s constitution.

The Party has barred these Independent Candidates from using the NDC logos and the use of the John Mahama’s pictures besides theirs on their campaign paranapherlias. The NDC does not want these people to campaign for John Dramani Mahama henceforth until they rescind their decisions.

He said by the close of the one week ultimatum, which falls on 14th November 2012 and these candidates have not rescind their decisions to go independent, they should expect not to be members of the NDC .

Mr. Asiedu Nketia further warned all NDC Executives especially the District,Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives, that anyone found campaigning for or in support of these Independent Candidates will incur the wrath of the NDC disciplinary action.

On whether the NDC will deal with any Independent Candidate who wins his seat, he said the NDC will not deal with such candidates during Parliamentary business and that such a candidate can defect back to the NDC only after relinquishing his or her position as a Parliamentarian.

Responding to a question of whether the Party will accept them back after the polls, he answered ‘’the NDC as a party, has never closed its doors to anyone, provided one has fulfilled the legal requirements but they must start as fresh members from their constituencies or branches’’.

The President and Party’s flagbearer has set up a Committee whose mandate is to contact and reconcile all 25 persons with the party .But it is up to these candidates to accept to be back in the party or still proceed with their intentions to contest as Independent Candidates thereby automatically abdicating their memberships in the NDC.