General News of 2014-08-08

NPP endangering 2016 chances

National Executives of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) face a daunting task of maintaining discipline as leading members of the party flout guidelines governing the election of presidential candidate with impunity.

Leading members of the party who hold sensitive positions, including Members of Parliament (MPs), have openly declared support for Nana Akufo-Addo in direct contravention of guidelines that ban them from doing so.

And as expected, some of the presidential aspirants are angry and are demanding that the guidelines be respected.

This is important because if losing aspirants feel that an equal playing field was not created during the primaries, they and their supporters may not give their full support to the eventual winner, which could affect the NPP’s fortunes in 2016.

An NPP document, titled ‘Guidelines and Rules and Regulations for Presidential Primaries 2014’ and dated June 18, clearly bans the act of openly supporting presidential aspirants.

It states: “Party officers at all levels: National, Constituency, Electoral Area, Polling Station, Overseas Branch (international), as well as MPs, shall refrain from openly declaring support of any branch, constituency or organ for any individual candidate or campaigning for them.

“No National, Regional, Constituency, Electoral Area, Polling Station or Overseas Branch Officer shall issue a press statement in support of any candidate,” it added.

According to the three-page document, any conduct that has the effect of a breach of the rules and regulations shall amount to misconduct and shall attract sanctions, including fines, suspension, and disqualification from holding or contesting any office or position in the party for a stated period.

What is disturbing is that when the issue was brought to their attention, most of those openly campaigning for the aspirants defended their actions while others said they have not sighted the regulations that the National Executives said had been distributed to the candidates.

Mr Boakye Agyarko, a member of Nana Addo’s campaign team, alleged on radio that Chairman Paul Afoko and General Secretary Kwabena Agyapong all campaigned with Nana Addo’s name during the National Executives’ election and therefore saw nothing wrong with MPs and party officials endorsing Nana Akufo-Addo.

He added that the supposed regulations governing the presidential primaries are not working because “a political party is not like the military where everyone conforms to the rules.”

Nana Akomea’s advice that a second look at the specific article on endorsement was necessary should be given urgent attention.

Internal bickering contributed to the NPP’s defeat in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. It is, therefore, in the interest of the party to ensure unity and sanity before the 2016 general elections.

Source: The Finder
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