The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has made some key amendments to its constitution with the aim of making the party more vibrant.
Acting General Secretary and National Organiser of the NPP, John Boadu, made this known to the media yesterday at a press conference held at the party’s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra.
He said the amendments were adopted and passed by the party’s National Council at its fifth general meeting on Tuesday, November 8, 2017, in Accra.
The meeting, he maintained, was attended by former President John Agyekum Kufuor, President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia, members of the party’s Council of Elders, National Executive Officers, among others, as provided for under Article 9 (b) of the NPP Constitution.
Mr. Boadu indicated that the National Council – which is the ruling party’s second highest decision making body – pursuant to Article 9 (b) of the party’s constitution, “has unanimously resolved that all persons serving as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) who wish to contest as parliamentary candidates in constituencies where the party has sitting MPs, are not eligible to contest unless they resign from their current positions at least three years before the ensuing national general elections.”
According to Mr. Boadu, the Council also resolved that regional chairpersons, secretaries, treasurers, constituency chairpersons, constituency secretaries and treasurers “are not eligible to contest parliamentary candidates in constituencies where the party has sitting MPs unless they resign at least three years before the national general election.”
This is to avoid the situation where people ride on the constituency positions to unseat their MPs.
He explained that “the Council adopted these resolutions upon conviction that these decisions are in the best interest of the party and government,” adding, “For emphasis, these decisions only apply to constituencies where the party has sitting Members of Parliament and does not apply to orphan constituencies i.e. constituencies where the party does not have sitting MPs.”
Again, Mr John Boadu disclosed that the National Council had also passed a resolution to extend the mandate of all serving officers of the party at each level by three months, following the expiration of their four-year mandate, to allow for primaries to be conducted.
DAILY GUIDE understands that the resolutions were adopted taking into account the challenges the party suffered in 2016 when some of its constituency chairmen – particularly its then Klottey Korley Constituency Chairman, Nii Noi Nortey decided to contest for the parliamentary seat as independent candidate when lawyer Philip Addison had been declared winner of the party’s primary for that constituency.
Nii Noi contested against lawyer Addison, causing the NPP to lose that seat to the NDC candidate, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, even though the party won the presidential votes in that constituency.
A similar situation was experienced at Ablekuma West Constituency where the then constituency chairman, Theophilus Tetteh, decided to contest against incumbent, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, leading to confusion among the executives in the area.
As part of the resolution, Mr. Boadu explained that the Council had directed all the 10 regional executive committees of the party to organize expanded regional executive committee meetings comprising constituency executives, to brief them on key amendment proposals that would be considered for adoption at the extraordinary conference.
Meanwhile, the Acting General Secretary has announced that the NPP would hold the extraordinary national delegates’ conference in Kumasi on December 17, this year, pursuant to Article 9 (A) (5) of the party’s constitution.
“The Council also approved the calendar for programmes and activities of the party presented by the National Secretariat between November 2017 and June 2018,” he indicated, adding that the party’s National Annual Delegates’ Conference to elect national officers would be held from 15th to 17th June, 2018.
By Melvin Tarlue