Politics of Saturday, 20 August 2016
Tension is mounting in the Anlo Constituency over allegations that the national executive of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has decided to impose a candidate on the constituency although the regional executive had earlier acclaimed a candidate.
The decision is said to be splitting the party into two as some members are said to have petitioned the national executive to recognise their decision to acclaim Mr Gerald Sena Kumedzro, who met all requirements and deadline for the party’s primary, rather than force on the members the party’s 2012 parliamentary candidate, Mr Francis Tamakloe, who did not even file for the position.
The party is said to have organised an acclamation at Keta on April 21, 2016 to declare Mr Kumedzro as its parliamentary candidate because he was the only person to file his nomination papers for the primary.
However, the national executive last month took a decision to run a primary in the constituency which did not come on, only for them to declare Mr Tamakloe as the candidate to contest on the ticket of the party in the constituency.
When contacted, Mr Kumedzro told the Daily Graphic that before he picked nomination forms for the election, his team had contacted Mr Tamakloe to find out if he was interested in contesting the election but he said he was not since he was in school.
Following that, he contacted the regional secretary of the party who said the party had only a few days to close nominations, so he (Kumedzro) went to the regional office in Ho, where he paid GHC500 and was told to get five constituency executive members to endorse his nomination forms and then pay GHC1,000 before filing the forms, which he did.
He said a few weeks later, the regional secretary called to inform him that Mr Tamakloe had also come for the forms but he (Kumedzro) reminded the regional secretary that he had earlier told him he was the only person to file his forms when nominations closed.
However the Regional Secretary, Mr Charles Nutortsi, said there would be a primary but it did not happen in February, March or April because Mr Tamakloe, although picked the forms, did not file them.
Subsequently, the regional secretary asked him to organise an acclamation event since Mr Tamakloe did not file his forms and that event took place on April 21, 2016.
He said it was at the acclamation programme that Mr Tamakloe arrived in a pickup truck branded in PPP colours and insisted that the event was not an acclamation but a primary and that he had his forms and cheque ready.
Mr Kumedzro said the EC official at the programme turned to the Regional Organiser, Mr Foster Segbey, for answers and he in turn asked from the constituency executive the number of people who filed their papers and was told that Mr Kumedzro was the only one.
The EC official, therefore, went ahead to do the acclamation, insisting that he was called to do that.
He said afterwards, he attended a training programme for the party’s parliamentary candidates from Volta, the Greater Accra, Eastern, Central and Western regions on May 21, where they were told to organise their polling station executive.
He alleged that he began the process and even planned a campaign launch on June 25, 2016 but was called to the national headquarters with the regional and constituency executives, where after a meeting between the three bodies, he was told that there should be a fresh primary because Mr Tamakloe wanted to contest.
Meeting with national executive
Mr Kumedzro said he pointed out to the National Chairman of the party, Nii Allotey Brew-Hammond, that Mr Tamakloe had not even filed his papers but he too was told he had not filed his documents either.
He said he insisted and paid the money to the new chairman of the constituency since the old chairman did not want anything to do with the party and the treasurer had left the constituency for more than three years and did not attend meetings.
He said after a back-and-forth affair, it was agreed that there should be a fresh primary but when a meeting was called on two occasions, less than 10 people turned up so the primary was not held.
However, the regional secretary called him on July 4 that the national executive had decided that Mr Tamakloe would be the party’s parliamentary candidate but some party members petitioned the party to rescind the decision otherwise they would support him (Kumedzro) to go independent.
“I only regretted that my people want me to contest as an independent candidate, because I joined the PPP for I believe in the ideologies of Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom. It is disappointing.”
Already Mr Tamakloe has erected banners and mounted posters in the constituency as the PPP candidate, an act Mr Kumedzro says has pushed him to contest as an independent candidate.
First Vice-Chairman responds
When contacted the First Regional Vice-Chairman for the Volta Region, Mr Chris Israel Agboado, confirmed the story but observed that if Mr Kumedzro and the constituency executive had not written to the national executive threatening to go independent, Mr Tamakloe would not have been made parliamentary candidate by the national executive.