An independent candidate contesting the Wa West parliamentary seat, Patrick Farouk Bandanaa has called the bluff of the National Executive Committee(NEC) of the ruling National Democratic Congress(NDC) stopping the 20 candidates who have been dismissed by the party from campaigning for President Mahama in the 2016 elections.“I think the decision by the NEC is quiet an arrogant posturing and I don’t think that is how our democracy should be handled,” Farouk said in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM.
A total of 20 members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who have decided to contest as Independent parliamentary candidates in the December 7 polls have been dismissed by the party, in breach of articles 8 (d,f); 45 (a,b,c &e) and 46 (10) of the party’s constitution.
In a press statement signed by the NDC’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, it said, “the affected persons by their conduct and on their own volition have ceased to be members of the party.”
The NEC of the party has, therefore, directed that the affected persons be “barred from the use of the party’s paraphernalia, or the use of names of key party officials, including the party’s presidential candidate in their campaigns or political activities, return all party property (including vehicles) in their possession.”
Executive members of the party who endorsed the nomination forms of independent parliamentary candidates or campaigning for independent candidates also cease to be members of the NDC, according to articles 45 and 46 of the party’s constitution.
But the Wa West Independent candidate part of the affected candidates is adamant to yield in to the directive issued by the party’s leadership saying that such trend will erode the democratic credentials of the nation.
“For me absolutely nothing has changed because even before I picked the form to run as an independent candidate, I weighed my options and I weighed the odds. I knew that going to contest as an independent candidate meant that I have cut myself from the NDC. I might choose not to even campaign for the President but it’s a choice I can make. But why do you tell me not to do it? Are you telling the other supporters that are following me that are interested in voting for the President not to do it?”
His colleague also contesting for the Lawra seat as an independent candidate said he’ll disregard the directive of the party and campaign for the President.
He said its unfair for the party to bar them from using the President’s name in their campaign because ordinary Ghanaians without affiliation to the NDC have the right to decide who should become the President.
“The president needs votes and the President needs my vote as well, whether I belong to the party or not I have the right to choose my President and while I’m choosing that President, I have that right to seek the support of others for us to toe the same line or to all support the President.”