NPP Confused: To Obey Or Not To Obey Party Constitution

The toll of the eight (8) months spent at the Supreme Court to contest the 2012 Presidential Elections is now beginning to show in the intra party politics of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Those eight months caused a serious delay in the election of the Party’s National Officers.

National Officers of the Party are elected at a National Delegates Conference for a four year term of office but in the case of Jake and his team, they exceeded the four years because all activities of the party came to a standstill because the party was in court.

Consequently, long before the Tamale Delegates Conference was convened to elect new leaders, Jake and his team of executives were, technically speaking, not qualified to hold themselves out as the executives of the party according to the party’s own constitution. THAT WAS THE FIRST CONSTITUTIONAL ERROR.

Then came the New Executives with a new mandate from Tamale on Monday April 14, 2014.

According to the Party’s Constitution, “the election of the Party’s Presidential Candidate shall be held not later than twenty-four (24) months from the date of the National Election. The date and venue for the election shall be decided by the National Council, provided however that the National Council may on the appropriate occasion, vary the date.”

The Constitution also says that “Not later then six (6) months prior to the holding of the election, the General Secretary shall give notice inviting applications from Members for nomination as the Party’s candidate to contest for the office of the President of the Republic…”

By these provisions, it means that nominations should open on June 6, and the congress to elect the Presidential Candidate should be on December 6, 2014.

Now here is the conundrum: according to the constitution “the date and venue for the election shall be decided by the National Council…” The Party is yet to constitute the National Council. Membership of the Council include Regional Representatives who are required by the constitution to be elected; One representative from five constituencies across the country. These elections are to be held at a Regional Delegates Conference.

So it means that the appropriate body to pronounce and give legitimacy to the date and venue for the election of the Presidential candidate is not in place. Therefore, the June 6 date cannot be ratified. So what will the NPP do? Will they move the date forward to allow the National Council to be established in order for it to play its role or will they abandon the National Council so they can meet the six months notice? The National Council is the second highest decision making body of the party after the National Delegates Conference. It is actually the National Council that directs the affairs of the party in between National Delegates Conferences. Who can ignore a Council like that?

By the way does the NPP really care about the voters register which will be opened on June 20, 2014 as announced by the Electoral Commission?