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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NPP congress slated for February 27

The National Council of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has fixed Saturday, February 27, 2010 as the new date for its national delegates conference to elect new national executives for the party.

This is the third time the party is rescheduling its national delegates’ conference after previous postponements from December 19, 2009, January 29, 2010 and February 6, 2010.

Party officials, however, told the Daily Graphic that this new date was final.

The conference is scheduled to take place at the Liberty Sports Stadium at Dansoman in Accra, the first time the party will hold its national delegates conference in an open place.

The essence is to enable the party to accommodate the anticipated large number of delegates, observers and journalists who will be attending the event.

At a special delegates conference held on August 22, 2009, the NPP amended some provisions in its constitution to expand the party's Electoral College for the national delegates’ conference to about 4,600.

After reviewing the current state of affairs in the party, the Council, at its meeting in Accra last Friday, upheld a proposition by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to reschedule the conference for late February.

A wide-range of issues believed to centre on the unity, development and progress of the party were discussed during the seven-hour meeting, but the leadership of the party declined to comment on them, explaining that those issues were not for public consumption.

The Director of Communications of the party, Mr Kwaku Kwarteng, told the Daily Graphic after the meeting that the council decided to re-schedule the date for the national delegates’ conference in order to give room for constituencies which were yet to hold their delegates conferences to do so.

The holding of constituency delegates conferences pave the way for the organisation of regional delegates conferences and subsequently the national delegates conference.

All the regions have concluded their regional delegates’ conferences, with the exception of the Ashanti Region where some nagging issues, including legal matters, have made it impossible to hold a regional conference.

The NPP is grappling with a court action filed by the Chairman of the Asante Akim North Constituency, Nana Adu Asabere, at the Kumasi High Court restraining the regional and national executives of the party from holding the Ashanti Regional delegates conference on the grounds that some constituencies in the region were yet to conduct their conferences and so holding the regional delegates conference will disenfranchise some delegates.

The case has been adjourned to January 27, 2010, exactly one month ahead of the new scheduled date for the national delegates’ conference.

According to the NPP constitution, there must be at least a one-month time lapse between the last regional conference of the party and its national delegates’ conference.

Mr Kwarteng said the decision by council to extend the date to late February was to allow room for all outstanding issues to be resolved in order to enable as many delegates as possible to take part in the national delegates’ conference.

He, however, indicated that irrespective of the resolution of those outstanding issues, the national delegates’ conference would come off on the scheduled date because the party already had a quorum to hold the conference.

The National Council is the second highest decision-making body of the NPP after the national delegates’ congress and its membership include the former President, the former Vice President, former party chairmen, former general secretaries, NEC members, sitting Members of Parliament and regional representatives.

The party has already vetted 32 candidates to contest for the various national executive positions, with the chairmanship promising to be the hottest.

Five contenders - Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Dr Charles Wereko-Brobby, Mr Felix Owusu Adjapong, Mr Stephen Ntim and Mr Sammy Crabbe - are headed for a contest some political analysts .envisage to be too close to call.

Eight candidates are contesting for the three vice-chairman positions, but that is not generating public attention as much as the position of General Secretary for which five very affable candidates are vying.

The incumbent General Secretary, Nana Ohene Ntow, is being challenged by Messrs Nkrabea Effah-Darteh, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah and Busia.

Three persons are vying for the National Organiser position, two for the position of Treasurer, four for the position of Youth Organiser; two for the Women's Organiser position, and three for the position of Nasara Co-ordinator.

Considering the internal wrangling in the party, mainly centred on the Akufo-Addo and the Alan Kyerematen factions, as well as the successful national delegates congress organised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Tamale recently, some political analysts have intimated that the NPP will be under pressure to come clean with its national delegates conference.

Mr Kwarteng dismissed that suggestion, saying the NPP had always held peaceful national delegates conferences and congresses and so the patty was under no pressure to do it again.

"In fact, if we go for conference and there is violence, it will be big news; but if the conference is peaceful, it will not make news at all unlike others whose holding of peaceful congress is considered big news,” he remarked.

Source: Daily Graphic

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