Scores of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members are mounting pressure on the leadership of the party to stop what they termed ‘illegal registration’ in the party’s ongoing manual registration drive.
They have sent a petition to the National Executive Council (NEC), with copies to the founder of the party Jerry John Rawlings and the Council of Elders, asking them to intervene in the process because they claim it’s ‘fraudulent.’
“We, the concerned members of the National Democratic Congress, petition our founder, the Council of Elders and the National Executives Committee (NEC), to immediately stop the ongoing registration as the basis and prerequisite for our branch elections and return to the transparent branch elections that gave us the 2008 and 2012 victories.”
They said “the current registration exercise is fraught with more problems than the 2016 party membership registration which gave us our worst and most humiliating defeat at the polls and unseated a sitting president for the first time in the 4th republic.”
According to the group, who are very active on social media, “The ongoing process is inherently disenfranchising large numbers of known NDC members, a situation which is brewing deepening apprehension, dissatisfaction and anger within our grassroots, this will surely lead to apathy in 2020.”
“There is no intelligent basis to ask card-bearing members to throw out their cards and register for new cards while admitting the party has no money to print the new cards for all its members and therefore distributing on average 10 or less cards per branch to branches of 300 or more people.
“The biggest problem with the 2016 registration is the swapping and purging of names of registered members with new names by candidates and party executives and officials by bribe paying in many constituencies across the country which caused major problems and contributed to our awful defeat.”
“This irresponsible taking of bribe and purging of names from the register was enabled and conducted by members of the election directorate at the national and regional offices,” adding “none of these people have been held responsible for working against the party’s interest and worst still they are all at post and are currently supervising the current registration.”
The group said that “the ongoing registration exercise is a big scam because there is a deliberate attempt to create shortage of ID cards under the guise of there is no money.”
They said the current system is placing “unnecessary financial burden (two passport pictures and additional 1cedi) on our rural folks, thereby making them unable to register and reducing the members’ right to participate in the branch elections to their ability to pay.”
“Even though there is a guideline, most constituency executives are either interfering directly or indirectly with the process, making the whole idea a waste of effort and a repetition of the exact process that hurt the party so much prior to the 2016 general elections.”
The group also said that “the scam of date changes and delays is a mechanism to waste precious time and allow the party to get as close to the constitutionally minimal allowable time of two years to nominate a flagbearer and thereby make it extremely difficult for candidates to canvas the nation for support and force the crowning and imposing of a particular candidate.”
They further said “we as a party can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results, the current messy registration exercise being supervised by the same people who conducted the 2016 registration and did such a bad job of it that led us into such humiliating defeat will predictably lead the party to another disastrous defeat in 2020.”
They said “we wish to put on record that none of those past victories included a bogus, chaotic and scandalous limited registration, it is time to return power back to the grassroots and allow the elected constituency executives to supervise branch elections in the same transparent ways we’ve always conducted branch elections, by scheduling and calling branch meeting for elections, where members at a branch show up and are known by each other as members, confirmed and elections held and results certified by the supervising constituency executives.”