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Politics of Thursday, 4 June 2015

Source: The Chronicle

NPP chair defies party executives

Despite efforts being made by party leaders, including the flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to douse the flame that has engulfed the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), some of the party hawks are insisting that they will pursue what they consider to be their legitimate right.

This is evident in the fact that the Western Regional Chairman of the party, Dickson Atta Nketsiah, has defied orders from the Steering Committee (SC) of the party disqualifying a parliamentary candidate in the Kwesimintsim constituency.

To the Regional Chairman, popularly known as Kendicks, as far as he was concerned, the aspirant, Joseph Mensah, popularly known as Joe Mensah, had not been disqualified from the contest. “I am the Regional Chairman and am telling you that Joseph Mensah has not been disqualified”, the confident looking constituency chairman told The Chronicle in a telephone interview.

Somewhere last week, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong – General Secretary of the party announced the list of aspiring candidates the Steering Committee had disqualified, including Mr. Joseph Mensah. Chairman Kendicks is, however, arguing that he has not been disqualified.

Speaking on authority, Chairman Kendicks indicated that the Steering Committee has not disqualified Mr. Joseph Mensah, stressing “As the Chairman, I have not been informed; neither has a letter been written to me that the aspirant has been disqualified”.

The disqualification of the aspirant has, however, sparked chaos and confusion in the Constituency. On Monday, irate delegates of the party marched to the party headquarters in the region to protest against the disqualification of Joe Mensah.

Carrying placards with inscriptions such as; ‘No Joe Mensah – No vote’, ‘We want contest’, ‘Kwesimintsim is Fed Up with Disqualification’, ‘Give us the Chance to make our Choice’, ‘We want Election-not unopposed’, ‘test your confidence with election’ and ‘Leave Kwesimintsim for more votes’ among others. The delegates say they suspect foul play, leading to the alleged the disqualification of Joe Mensah.

Five persons from the constituency, led by the Youth Organizer, Bruce Amartey, filed a petition against the aspirant, praying the Vetting Committee to disqualify Joe Mensah on the grounds that he possesses fake party ID and Voters’ ID cards, in addition to the fact that he is not a true party man among others.

Information available to The Chronicle indicates that in the case of the fake Voters’ ID card, Joe Mensah has been cleared after the Regional Electoral Officer certified that it was authentic. However, the aspirant was disqualified by the Vetting Committee for possessing fake party ID card and attempting to modify the date on it.

Information available to this reporter indicates that when the petition was raised against Joseph Mensah at the vetting, which was held on the 6th of May, his (aspirant) party cards were taken from him to reconcile it with information in the national data base of the party.

The VC, in deciding to disqualify the aspirant, accused him of attempting to modify the date on his particulars.

This development has raised questions as to how the aspirant could attempt to modify the supposed date when his particulars (party cards and others) were in the possession of the VC, at that material time of the vetting.

Information about the aspirant as a true party member was reportedly not contained in the data base of the party at it national headquarters, leading to his questionable disqualification from the race.

This has led to delegates in the constituency who tilt to the side of the aspirant to suspect foul play in the disqualification of aspirant Joseph Mensah.

Meanwhile, the aspirant had presented a strongly worded petition to the regional Chairman of the party, Mr. Dickson Atta Nketsiah, raising questions about his disqualification and calling for a thorough investigation.

It is believed that if the questionable decision to disqualify the aspirant is not thoroughly investigated and probably reversed, it might end up in the Court of Law.

But hours after the regional Chairman received the petition, he came out to allay the fears of the aspirant and his supporters to exercise calm, because the latter, as far he was concerned had not been disqualified.

Meanwhile, a group of delegates who call themselves ‘Representatives of Concerned Delegates’ in the constituency have filed a petition questioning why there should not be any contest in the constituency.

According to them “anytime an aspirant pops up to compete for the welfare of the constituency, the person is disqualified.

The delegates went further to cite how Nana Kofi Coomson, Publisher of The Chronicle, who filed his nomination to contest in 2007, was disqualified from the race on questionable grounds.

A former regional Women Organizer of the Party, Madam Abena Kwala, who presented the petition to the Regional Chairman on Monday called for the reversal of the disqualification of Joe Mensah.