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Opinions of Monday, 11 December 2017

Columnist: Awudu Moro Kabore

NPP's constitutional amendment and matters arising

The processes leading to the elections of officers to man the activities of the party at the various structures and levels in the next four (4) years has commenced in earnest.

As part of the process, almost all regions have gone through deliberations on some proposed amendments to the party's constitution as recommended by the ad hoc committee tasked with the responsibility of sieving through thousands of proposals for constitutional amendment by party faithfuls.

The Extra-Ordinary National delegates Conference slated for the 17th of this month in Kumasi will either accept or reject the proposals for amendments of some key provisions of the constitution.

Already, the National Executive Committee has endorsed the Report of the ad hoc Constitutional Review Committee led by F.F Anti as an information Document for the Annual Delegates Conference.

It is important to first commend the FF Anto's committee for a yeoman's job. They have proven that they have the party at heart and the interest of the party will and should always be the priority at all times.

Going through the proposals, some key proposals caught my attention.

The first was the proposal sponsored by the MP for Subin in the Ashanti region who proposed that, Members of Parliament (MPs) should be made the leaders of the party at the constituency level and the argument he advanced for such a proposal was quite interesting indeed, but that argument failed woefully to pass the scrutiny test at the committee level and as such it was flatly rejected by the committee. In fact, the expression used by the committee was that the proposal LACKED CLARITY.

The committee in dismissing that proposal had this to say;
“the proposal would create and unwieldily and nebulous situation, it is unsustainable and should be rejected"

And they concluded by saying that, “the proposed amendment will create more mischief that it seeks to cure and the status quo should be maintained"

These reasons in my view summed up the views of many party faithfuls when the proposal was first made public during the regional delegates conference in Kumasi earlier this year.

The committee however recommended the acceptance of the proposal for amendment of Article 6(7)(a) that previously entrusted the power for the convening of meetings to the chairman and suggested the following modifications.

The amendment is to include: "...Apart from the chairman, a written resolution of 1/3 of the total of the Constituency Executive Committee at the constituency level, Regional level and the National level should be sufficient to compel the convening of a meeting.

The 1st Vice-Chairman shall in the absence of the chairman preside over meetings at the CEC, REC and NEC.
This proposed amendment is to cure the situation where most Chairmen without any reason refuse to convene a meeting even when there is the need to.
The third proposal which is equally worth a mention is the proposal to expand the electoral college in the elections of the Youth and Women wings of the party.

To illustrate, a constituency secretary who is less than 40 years old would be entitled to vote at the election of youth organizer. This affirms the position of the school of thought that all youth within the party structure must have a say in who leads them. This would be a clear departure from the earlier provision where only youth organizers and Tescon representatives are allowed to vote during such elections.

Likewise, a constituency secretary who happens to be a female would also be entitled to vote in the election women organizer position by virtue of the fact that she is a woman and should have a stake as far as who occupies that position is concerned. This is also a clear departure from the earlier provision where only women organizers are allowed to vote in such a situation.

These recommendations are obviously good recommendations and ought to be supported by all delegates at Kumasi.

These constitutional amendments aside, the ongoing registration of party faithfuls at the polling station level that would pave the way for the commencement of elections at that level through the constituency to the regional and national level and the innovation being introduced give me hope that, strengthening the party at all level is being taken seriously.

With these reforms, I am of the firm believe that, our great party will move from strength to strength and from victory unto victory.