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Opinions Fri, 17 Jan 2014

NPP Internal Elections: UPSEM does it again!

In the wake of the NPP regional elections, the Union of Polling Stations Executive Member (UPSEM) has supported registered UPSEM candidates with 50% of their filing fees after paying in full for its pre-registered members during the polling station executive elections.

UPSEM also assisted some UPSEM contestants during the recent constituency elections in its continued quest to strengthen the base of the party.

UPSEM remains open to all party functionaries interested in becoming affiliate members in support of securing polling station activity.

As the saying goes, the wise man builds his house on the rock. In fact, I'm disappointed that some had to wait for the "wise man" to come out with such a saying before acknowledging that without a strong foundation the most magnificent edifice will positively collapse. I've always had a problem with the saying that “all men are equal”. The reality is that some are privileged while others are underprivileged. Some are strong while others are weak.

If I had my way, I would change that saying to: "All men are equal in political elections." Yes! Because that is the only time the rich, poor, privileged, underprivileged, powerful, the most vulnerable and disabled have one vote and equal power. This means in political elections everyone counts. Everyone is powerful. All men are equal.

What every wise or if you like smart politician must know is that the surest way to strengthen a political party is to have a strong and very effective grassroot. Without that "rock," as a foundation, the building will become desolate, vulnerable to the slightest rain-shower and eventually be washed away into the sand.

It is therefore regrettable that some people within the NPP came up with a suggestion that polling station executive elections, the election of party grassroots who form the base of every political party, the very people who police, secure and ensure that elections are won from the polling stations be scrapped.

They proposed that the party should rather elect the Presidential Candidate first, and then, if the Presidential Candidate "deems Polling Station Agents/Executives necessary," the Presidential Candidate should then spearhead the selection of the Polling Station Agents/Executives. A process which can very much be compared to roofing a house before it is built.

Fortunately, there are many others who believe strongly that polling station executives form the base, or if you like the rock, that the building must be built on. Some individuals therefore fought gallantly to have the polling station executive structure maintained through the process of having their elections first.

Having won the battle to maintain the Poling station Elections, this in turn secured the Constituency, Regional and National Elections. Some of these individuals then vowed to make the base even stronger than before in order to give the party a robust backbone. This was their motivation to form a union of polling station executives members.

Speaking to some UPSEM members across the country, they confirmed that the union is already active and working effectively to serve the purpose for which it was formed.

Only a few months in existence, over 30,000 polling station executives/members and affiliate members spreading across 8 of the 10 regions of Ghana have already joined UPSEM.

Columnist: Kofi Mensah