A group within the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) has warned that the party risks alienating committed members should its National Executive Committee (NEC) carry through a section of guidelines for the upcoming internal elections.
The United Cadres Front (UCF) expressed the hope the “NEC will come to reason with us or take members for a ride and put the party in shambles” as the NDC prepared for the election of party officers this year.
The NDC is scheduled to hold ward elections by the end of July, constituency elections by the end of August, regional elections by the end of September and national elections by the end of October.
Guidelines issued by the NEC of the party in connection with the upcoming elections state under the subject of qualifications that “a member of the party shall not qualify to vie for regional position unless the member has prior to seeking elections held an executive position in the constituency”.
The caveat has threatened to disqualify emerging power blocs, who are interested in seeking various regional and national positions of the party.
And ahead of those elections, consternation is rife among some party members who view the situation as an attempt to maintain the status quo, with the Coalition of NDC Youth in the Northern Region addressing a news conference in Tamale last Wednesday to demand a withdrawal of the said provision within three days.
In a statement signed by Ben N. Banye, a founder member of the regional branch of the party and chairman of the group, the UCF said “ineffective, non-innovative and visionless leaders must give way through the ballot box” since “the political landscape and forces are rapidly changing”.
According to the NEC, it had included the said provision on the basis of powers conferred on it by Article 50 of the party’s constitution which states that “where on any party matter there is no provision in the constitution which deals with the matter, NEC shall by regulation provide for that matter to be dealt with”.
The group, however, contended that “We do not think the interpretation of Article 50 of the constitution is that when a matter provision relating to a particular matter has become inadequate with time, NEC should independently massage it without reference to a National Conference of the party”.
It said various provisions in the party’s constitution had dealt with the modalities for the election of party officers, and that the NEC could not appropriate new powers to recraft those modalities.
“The call of the UCF of the Upper West Region is that the guidelines be set aside and the election of officers conducted on the basis of the existing provisions in the constitution concerning the election of officers,” the statement said.