Former President John Jerry Rawlings has stated that the National Democratic Congress is on the verge of breaking up over what he calls “reports of malpractices and abuse of process” in the party’s ongoing branch executive elections across various regions.
A statement by the former President stated that as a result of reports of election malpractices, party Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, General Secretary Asiedu Nketia and Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama were summoned to a meeting in his office on Friday, April 27, 2018 to discuss the development.
The statement, however, disclosed that “Mr Portuphy could not attend the meeting because he has been hospitalized” and that Alhaji Mahama did not show up because he could not be reached.
Mr. Rawlings during the meeting drew the attention of the Asiedu Nketia to the serious complaints and petitions emanating from the elections and the potential damage to the party if no action is taken to rectify the wrongs.
According to the statement, Mr. Nketia confirmed at the meeting that he had already directed some elections to be cancelled and re-conducted in some of the areas he had toured.
Below is the full statement
STATEMENT BY FLT LT (Rtd.) JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS ON CONDUCT OF ONGOING BRANCH ELECTIONS IN THE NDC
The attention of His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, former President and Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been drawn to several complaints and reports of malpractices and abuse of the process across several branches in the ongoing elections within the party.
As a result of the gravity of the allegations of foul play, intimidation and total disregard for laid down party procedure and regulations, the Founder decided to invite party Chairman, Kofi Portuphy, General Secretary Asiedu Nketia and Vice-Chairman of the Council of Elders, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama to his office on Friday April 27, 2018. Unfortunately, Mr Portuphy could not attend the meeting because he has been hospitalised and Alhaji Mahama could not be reached.
In the meeting with Mr Asiedu Nketia, the former President brought the General Secretary’s attention to the serious complaints and petitions emanating from the elections and the potential damage to the party if no action is taken to rectify the wrongs.
Mr Asiedu Nketia conceded that it was necessary to take due note of the several petitions and complaints by suspending or cancelling such elections so the allegations could be thoroughly investigated and elections re-conducted to instil sanity and confidence in the process.
The General Secretary confirmed at the meeting that he had already directed some elections to be cancelled and re-conducted in some of the areas he had toured.
The Founder has however learnt that the situation in Kpando, for example, has deteriorated in spite of directives by the General Secretary. Elsewhere in some branches he has received complaints about constituency executives arriving with a list they read out as the branch executives, party registers not being used, candidates not being vetted, notice of polls in terms of venue, date and time not issued and executives not making nomination forms available to some potential candidates they do not approve. He also received reports of some branches where executives unilaterally decided that certain people were not members of the party.
Mr Rawlings said: “I have observed that certain elements in the party who are supposed to be unbiased arbiters and supervisors in these elections are rather pursuing a parochial agenda that is not in the party’s interest. These limited victories are like winning a battle and losing the war. We witnessed this in the selection of our parliamentary candidates in the 2016 elections, which partly accounted for our humiliating defeat in that election.
‘We are on the verge of breaking up the NDC if we pursue this path. The National Executive Committee has to take a serious look at the entire branch electoral process and ascertain whether they have been held in an open, free and fair manner devoid of foul play and deliberate abuse,” Flt Lt. Rawlings stated.
The former President urged all party members across the country who feel aggrieved by the conduct of the elections to forward their petitions and complaints to the party headquarters. Copies of such petitions can be sent to his office so the concerns can be pursued with the national executive.
Kobina Andoh Amoakwa