Politics Tue, 5 Jan 2010

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365 days after losing power, Crisis in NPP Worsen

The numerous appeals by members of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to aggrieved groups, to use internal mechanisms to resolve conflicts, appear to have fallen on deaf ears, as many more continue to resort to legal means to have their grievances settled.

In a rather uncharacteristic move, an embittered Constituency Chairman, who is also among the first 200 signatories who signed for the NPP to become a fully-fledged political party, has secured an interlocutory injunction from a Kumasi High Court, restraining both the Regional and National executives of the party from going ahead with their respective congresses to elect new leaders until certain issues, which he deemed outstanding, were resolved.

The Asante Akim North Constituency Chairman, Nana Adu Asabere, who also doubles as the Chairman of the NPP Chairmen's Association in the region, a strong force in the party, secured an injunction on December 23, 2009 from a High Court in Kumasi, to halt the Ashanti Regional congress, which was initially slated for December 30, 2009.

The injunction also sought to restrain the National Executives Council (NEC) and the National Council (NC) of the party from conducting a vetting and subsequent national congress.

The Kumasi High Court is expected to hear the case on January 11 this year, and until the lifting of the interlocutory injunction, the much-anticipated regional congress has been put on hold.

The NPP chairman's action, which has received the support of other hotheaded members of the party, including regional executives is to enable other constituencies which are yet to conduct their congresses to elect new executives, to do so before regional elections are organized.

According to the Chairman, about eleven constituencies in the region were likely to be disenfranchised if the regional elections are to be conducted on the stipulated date, because most of them would by then not have elected their executives to represent them.

The remaining constituencies which are yet to conduct their congresses because of legal battles, as at the time of filing this report, include Kumawu, Kwabre West, Asante Akim North, Bosome-Freho, Ejisu-Juaben, Ejura-Sekyedumase and Asokwa.

The rest are Subin, Adansi West and South constituencies, where the executives are currently grappling with various forms of legal combats.

Justifying his reason for taking the legal action, Nana Asabere noted that the party would have opened the floodgates for more legal brawls, because the party would have been in breach of the new constitution which called for the enlargement of the Electoral College.

But the aggrieved Chairman is pointing accusing fingers at the National Chairman of the party, Mr. Peter Mac Manu, as the main brain behind the numerous confusions and legal scuffles that have engulfed the party.

According to him, but for the National Chairman's high-handedness and blatant disregard for the laid down internal structures within the party, the party would not have been going through the trouble of settling disputes in court.

Nana Asabere alleged in an interview with The Chronicle that the National Chairman was using unorthodox means to resolve conflicts in the party contrary to the laid down conventions.

He alleged further that the December 30 date set for the Ashante Regional congress was arbitrarily set by the Regional Chairman without any due consultation with the executives in the region, contending that Mr. Mac Manu refused to grant an appeal made by some regional executives for the postponement of the date .

He alleged that the National Chairman had set his sights on bringing confusion within the rank and file of the party in the Ashanti Region, arguing that Mr. Mac Manu had on several occasions used the party's stronghold as testing grounds for any unpopular decisions he decides to implement.

According to him, instead of allowing grievances to be dealt with internally by the Regional Executive Council in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Mac Manu had appointed the National Women's Organiser, Ms. Rita Asobayire, to settle the numerous cases, a decision which, according to him had not helped matters in any way.

The embittered NPP Constituency Chairman also wondered why Mr. Mac Manu failed to grant the oppor-tunity he accorded to the Greater Accra Regional executives, when they pleaded for some time to allow them organise elections in the remaining two constituencies, and instead insisted that the Ashanti Region goes ahead with its regional congresses, minus the eleven constituencies.

Meanwhile, the under-fire National Chairman, in an interview with a local radio station in Kumasi, Hello 101.5 FM, parried the allegations, describing them as unfounded and a figment of someone's imagination.

Source: The Ghanaian Chronicle

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