The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has heaped praises on its branch executives for the fruitful organisation and execution of elections in over 30,000 branches of the party in the 275 constituencies across the various regions.
The elections which commenced on 14th April 2018 came to a close at the end of the month and according to the General Secretary of the NDC, an analysis of the entire process by the party indicates that the process was smooth irrespective of the controversies that were reported.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Johnson Asiedu Nketia credited the active involvement of the National Executive Committee (NEC) for producing an impressive result and gave thumbs up to the branch executives in effect.
“I want to report that, we did a review of the exercise this morning at our functional executive committee after taking all the reports from the National Executive Committee members who had been assigned to the various regions. We can report to you that the exercise was an outstanding success,” he said.
Although there are reported cases of malpractices and setbacks in some constituencies which have resulted in the halting of elections and petitions emanating from the elections, the party’s scribe was quick to add that the development was blown out of proportion.
According to Mr Asiedu Nketia, there are disputes in only about 20 out of the 275 constituencies, thus the reports on controversies at the polls do not reflect the facts on the ground.
“We say so not oblivious of the fact that for any major exercise of this nature there will be hiccups in one or two places and we are very much aware of that but we want to believe that the information about the hiccups has been unreasonably inflated,” he lamented.
“We have 275 constituencies, out of the 275 constituencies we have challenges in only about 20 constituencies and out of the 20 constituencies the challenges don’t cover even all the branches in the constituencies. In several cases, the elections would have been held but certain elections in certain branches have developed some challenges which are being addressed but luckily our regulations are very clear. They have shown the way to address these challenges.”
He argued that “if the National Executive and regional Executive Committee members had decided to gloss over the problems we would have reported that we have finished everything but we want to look out for where the problems exist and even when we have reports that everything is well and we know that everything is not well we insist that we must do verification and where it is necessary we even annul the results and order a re-run.”
The General Secretary’s remarks come after Former President Jerry John Rawlings expressed concerns over what he calls “reports of malpractices and abuse of process” in the party’s branch executive elections across various regions.
As a result of these allegations, Mr Rawlings invited the 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, to discuss the development.
According to the statement from the office of the former President, Mr Rawlings in the meeting “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 statement further clarified.