Politics of 2014-06-05

NPP National Council meets today?

The National Council (NC) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is expected to meet today to deliberate on a broad range of issues affecting the party.

This is the first time the council is meeting since the new national executive members, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Paul Awentami Afoko, were elected into office.

Among others, the council is expected to either affirm or not the date for the opening of nominations for the party’s presidential primary, as well as consider appointments to fill vacant national executive positions of the party.

Lask week, the National Executive Committee (NEC) took a decision to open nominations for the presidential primary on June 6 and the holding of presidential primaries on December 6 this year.

The two dates fixed by the NEC had to be endorsed by the NC, which is the highest decision-making body of the party.

Interacting with the press at the party headquarters in Accra recently, Mr. Kwabena Agyepong, the General Secretary of NPP, explained that even though the constitution of the party mandated the party to open nominations when in opposition six months before the presidential primary and two years before the general election, the decision had to be approved by the NC.

Other issues on the agenda for today’s NC meeting include the appointment of some officers of the party such as deputies for the positions of general secretary, national organiser, women’s organiser and national youth organiser.

The issue of re-constituting committees of the party, including the organising, disciplinary and legal and constitutional, is also expected to be on the agenda.

So far, five aspirants have declared their intention to pick nomination forms to contest the flag-bearer position when nominations are opened.

They are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate of the party; Mr Alan Kyerematen and Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, who both contested the position in 2008 and 2012; Mr Joe Ghartey and Mr Francis Addai-Nimoh.

Others believed to have the ambition to contest the position include Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, the MP for Asuogyaman, and Mr Isaac Osei, the MP for Subin.

Already, the contest is becoming intriguing as the camps of Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Kyerematen are on the field canvassing for votes.

Sharing insights into the June 6 date for the opening of nominations, Mr Agyepong said the party’s constitution mandated the party to open nominations six months before the presidential primary and 24 months before national elections.

He said it was the determination of the party to stick to what the constitution demanded, saying, “The latest that the presidential primary could be held is December 6.’’

Already, there is a school of thought that wants the filing fee for the presidential primary to be pegged as high as GH¢75,000 in order not to open the floodgates.

Others, however, are of a contrary view, arguing that the party is not for the highest bidder and so the filing fee ought to be GH¢25,000.

The National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Paul Afoko, who also spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the steering committee of the party had presented a proposal for a timetable for the conduct of the affairs of the party leading to the presidential primary and beyond.