One of the oldest political parties in Ghana, the Convention People’s Party (CPP) has been branded in an Electoral Commission report as non-functional and risks losing its license.
The party founded by Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, has been found wanting after the Inspectorate Division of the EC indicate that the party does not meet the requirement set out in the Political Parties Act, 2000 (Act 574).
According to the 2013 report, a party must meet the threshold of having 144 district offices out of a total number of 216 used for the purpose of the report.
Out of the 23 parties registered with the Electoral Commission, only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) met the physical presence requirement.
The report found that parties like the National Democratic Party, the YES Peoples’ party, EGLE party, National Reform Party, the Progressive Peoples’ Party do not meet the requirement of having offices in at least two-thirds of all districts in Ghana.
At the National Democratic Party, the national office was found under lock and key. The Garu District office of the CPP is “a storage space for roofing sheets and foodstuff”.
The PPP, fonded by Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom has only 68 offices out of 216 districts while the GCPP has only nine offices.
The People’s National Convention has only 29 out of 240 districts and according to the report, is “failing” to meet provisions in the Political Parties Act 574. The PNC however has one parliamentary seat.
The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) also had only two district office as at 2003, the report revealed.
United Ghana Movement formed by Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby has been on vacation since 1997.
The YPP’s Namunba South district office was a dressmaking shop while the CPP’s Sekyere South District office was a store.
The report said it found a trend where some offices alleged to belong to the parties were not even painted in party colours.
Predictably, only the two parties that have rotated political power since 1992 were spared sanctions by the report.
The NDC had 195 district offices that can “conveniently pass for offices”. The largest opposition party, the New patriotic Party, had 200 offices.
The report outlined some options it wants the Commission to consider in dealing with non-functional political parties.
It says the EC could grant the affected parties sometime to put their houses in order.
It says the EC could also consider recognizing only parties with parliamentary representation.
Alternatively, the EC could lower the requirement of having offices in two-thirds of the districts to one-third.
The report recommends that sanctions must be applied including the withdrawal of license “no matter how unpleasant and unpalatable the action may sound”.
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]
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