General News of 2014-01-27

Learn NPP constitution if you want post - Jake

Chairman of the New Patriotic Party Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey has ignored calls on him and other national executives to resign their positions ahead of a congress to elect new national officers.

He says his critics should educate themselves on the provisions of the party's constitution governing it behaviour and conduct before making such demands. Some members of the NPP aspiring for national executive positions are asking all incumbent executives seeking re-election to step aside ahead of the polls scheduled for March 1.

Aspirants supporting the call fear the current leadership may abuse their incumbency for personal gain.

They say the current executives including the Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey must be stopped from playing any further roles in the organization of the elections to prevent any abuse of the process.

Paul Afoko, who is in the race for the chairmanship of the NPP, told Joy FM’s Top Story Monday the current executive must step aside if the the conduct of the elections, is to be done fairly.

For now, he claim, the leadership is acting like “judge, jury and executioner in their own cause”.

A former Deputy Attorney General under the Kufuor Administration who lost the chairmanship race in the Ashanti Region over the weekend, Osei Kwame Prempeh, is also pushing for a constitutional amendment that will bar all incumbent executives seeking re-election from playing any role in organizing party elections.

He conceded that it would be too late to amend the constitution for the March elections but insists that for good conscience, the executive must step down.

In response, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, however, said those complaining “should study the rules of the party they want to lead.”

He stated that the executives play no specific roles in the organizing elections, which he explained are handled by the National Election Committee under the chairmanship of the chairman of the council of elders.

According to the Head of the Political Science Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Dr. Amoako Baah, the disgruntled aspirants would have to live with the situation.

He explained that since the party’s constitution does not require the current executive to step aside, it would not be appropriate to insist that they do that simply because some aspirants are suspicious.

He encouraged those who are not comfortable with the status quo to push for constitutional reform.

Dr Amoako Baah warned against the situation where people call for a change in the rules when they feel that those rules do not favour them.

He noted that even in the national constitution, the president is not asked to step aside when he is seeking re-election.