Lawyer Alifo implores NDC to organize less chaotic internal elections

Lawyer Alifo Eric Delanyo Alifo is a private legal practitioner in NDC

Fri, 13 May 2022 Source: Japhet Festus Gbede

Lawyer Eric Delanyo Alifo of the Ho West NDC says he has full confidence that the National Executive Committee of his party, the opposition National Democratic Congress shall organize a less chaotic internal elections than the NPP did recently, and he accordingly urges the party to distinguish itself from the NPP and ensure that the upcoming internal elections shall be less turbulent.

To achieve this feat, Lawyer Alifo expresses some concerns on behalf of the grassroots of the party, and makes some recommendations in the following article.



The National Executive Committee of the NDC has recently announced a roadmap for its internal reorganization including elections of party executives for the branches, constituencies, region, and at the national level.

I wish to commend the leadership of the party for finally coming to this stage, which our supporters had waited for, for a very long time while I also advise them to take steps to ensure that our internal elections do not become as turbulent as witnessed recently in the NPP elections.

For a very long time in the past, the elitist NPP political organization had hoodwinked many Ghanaians, particularly, those of us who were not born, or old enough during the times of the UP and PP (the political antecedents of the NPP), into thinking that their party was a better political party and more democratic than the NDC.

But the myth began to crumble very quickly when Ghana had returned to democratic rule in 1992, and the NPP had so far produced two Presidents in the Fourth Republic, with the anti-climax being the regime of Nana Akufo Akufo Addo and Dr. Bawumia, supported keenly by Messrs Alan Kodjo Kyeremanteng, Ken Ofori Atta, and others.

With hindsight, Ghanaians have discovered that the NPP is worst in anything and everything its activists have ever accused the NDC of. Whether it is corruption, incompetence, violence, you name it; the NPP is the worse so far in Ghana's political history. This may be arguable to some, but is very obvious to many, particularly, to all objectively minded Ghanaians.

Just recently, they went through the election of their polling station and constituency executives, and the elections were characterized by agitations, litigations in court, violence, including fisticuffs and throwing of all kinds of objects at each other. In some cases, people were slapped and slashed with machetes, and the despicable scenes were recorded and put out on social media for all to see.

In the media discussions that followed their disgusting election, NPP communicators, seemingly on the defensive, hope for similar chaotic elections in the NDC when it shall be our turn to conduct our internal elections. Some of them have tried to go far back in the years to recall some past volatile instances within the NDC to justify their expectations for troubling forthcoming internal elections of the NDC as well in order for them to draw yet another conclusion that our two parties are the same, or that we are worst than them.

But we must not allow their expectations to materialize under any circumstances. It is very important to distinguish and set ourselves apart from them once again in this instance. To do this, the NDC NEC must ensure the following:

1. Simple Guidelines:

The guidelines for registration, eligibility, nomination, and our internal elections must be very simple and easily understandable by all.

2. Interpretation of the Guidelines:

The interpretation of the party's constitution, rules, and guidelines relevant for the election of our internal officers must be uniform across the board, and must not be restricted to only a few officials.

3. No Hijacking of Processes:

Nobody must be allowed to hijack any part of the reorganization processes, and unduly influence any part of the processes for their selfish means.

4. Transparency in All Aspects:

The reorganization processes including eligibility, nomination, elections, and collation of results must be absolutely transparent to all our supporters. No official must act bossy over our supporters and interpret the party's rules arbitrarily.

In accordance with the foregoing principles, I would wish to implore the NEC to pay attention to the following concerns of our grassroots, and act promptly on them to ensure peace and tranquility in the upcoming internal contests.

Eligibility Requirements:

-REGISTRATION:- We are being told that although there shall be new limited registration soon, only those who were registered by 2018 as card-bearing members of the party shall be eligible to contest for the internal positions. However, we are also being told that new branches shall be created and there shall be elected executives for those branches.

The question then is, who would qualify to contest for the executive positions in the new branches. Will they be the new members who will be registered in this 2022, or they will be members from other branches who were registered by 2018?

If it was the case that our NEC might not have paid attention to this during the formulation of the initial guidelines, I would advice that either the party allows all those who shall be registered by June this year to contest for the branch positions in their branches, or all those who shall be registered in the limited registration must do so in the new branches, if some exist in their communities.

-GOOD STANDING:- It is provided that only active members, who are in good standing for at least 4 years are eligible to contest in the branch elections. This provision requires proper clarification to all of us in very simple terms. As far as we know, our party had not put any credible structures in place in the last 4 years to receive party dues from members, and accordingly, many of our members may not have paid their dues during the entire period.

In order that this requirement may not be interpreted variedly to deny the opportunity to some of our members to contest in the branch elections, I would plead with the party to, as a matter of urgency, explain what exactly the requirement means.

-NEW BRANCHES:- We are told that new branches shall be created and they shall have duly elected executives. In light of other provisions, which require members to have been registered by 2018, and be in good standing for at least 4 years in order to be eligible for branch elections, our supporters require further elucidation on this guideline.

-TEIN:- My understanding is that our TEIN executives and/or members were treated separately in terms of membership of branches while they were in school. In order for them to focus on their mobilization and organization in their schools, party registers were created for them in their schools, and they did not have to register with branches outside of their campuses.

Some of them are now out of school, and have gone to their communities, but they do not belong to any of the existing branches in the communities, and by the initial guidelines, they are not eligible to contest in the branch elections. I think special provisions must be made for them to participate fully in the elections. We humbly request of NEC to make a pronouncement on this.

-SALE OF NOMINATION FORMS:- This is the first time our grassroots would be required to buy nomination forms in order to contest in branch elections. The forms are selling at ghc10.00. My greatest fear is that some deep pockets with special interests may take advantage of the extreme poverty in the countryside and decide to procure the nomination forms for their favorites in order for the elected branch officials to in turn grant their benefactors their desires later. If this happens, it shall create very serious problems for the party. I am anxious to see how the party shall ensure that this does not happen.

I respectfully state these concerns on behalf of many of our supporters who are asking these questions all over the place. I do this out of my love for my party, and to, as usual, make an input into the decisions that are made by our leadership for better administration and management of our party.

Source: Japhet Festus Gbede
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