Politics of Monday, 5 March 2018
Some aggrieved members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the USA have petitioned the National Headquarters in Ghana to stop the upcoming elections in the states citing some violations.
In a petition signed and forwarded to the Acting General Secretary, John Boadu, the aggrieved members suspect a planned electoral fraud and therefore want the necessary processes followed to ensure that the polls are free, fair and transparent elections in line with NPP’s laid down electoral process.
Read full text of their petition below
General Secretary (Ag)
The National Steering Committee
Asylum Down, Accra
PETITION TO POSTPONE NPP-USA 2018 NATIONAL ELECTIONS
The undersigned concerned NPP-USA members write to petition the National Steering Committee to intervene and stop the upcoming NPP-USA National elections until proper measures are put in place to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in line with NPP’s laid down electoral process. We base our petition on Article 8 (1) (2) (3) of the constitution of the New Patriotic Party concerning external branches, and the sections of the processes and procedures for elections at all levels of the party to elect executives, and in compliance with the Steering Committee guidelines as noted in Article 9(I) (1).
As concerned members of the NPP USA branch, who want to protect the image and the integrity of our beloved party, we bring to your attention certain apprehensions about the conduct of the current executives of NPP-USA, which has potential to undermine the upcoming national executive elections slated from March 15, 2018 to March 16, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Among some of the major concerns raised include:
• Conflict of Interest issue against the acting Chairperson
• Integrity and transparency of the online voting system
• Absence of candidate representation at the EC
• Disenfranchisement of potential voters
• Financial Accountability
• Failure to conduct biennial congress before the elections
Conflict of Interest Issue Against the Acting Chairperson
There is enough evidence to show that, the current acting chairperson of NPP-USA, Obaa Yaa Frimpong, who is also a candidate for the position of substantive chairperson of NPP-USA, has been involved in the registration and printing of voter ID cards for members since 2015. Additionally, her role in the compilation of the electoral register smacks a red flag in the credibility of the electoral register.
There is no constitutional provision that justifies that an acting chairperson or a substantive second vice chairperson compiles the membership list of NPP-USA. According to article 4.6 (g) of the by-laws, the national organizer builds the membership of the NPP-USA, hence he/she has the mandate to collate the membership list of the organization.
Integrity and Transparency of the Online Voting System
In line with the above conflict of interest issue raised, the online voting system cannot be trusted to ensure free and fair elections. The online voting system used to conduct the 2014 elections was associated with anomalies, resulting in the introduction of hostility and anti-party elements within the NPP-USA, because some members were disgruntled about the whole electoral process.
It is sad that the register includes some non NPP-USA members who just came to USA for visit, not living in USA but some residents who have been members for certain number of years have been excluded from the voting list. This makes the call for member presence during the election a legitimate one. There is a high possibility of the system being abused by individuals who have been involved in the compilation of the register, right from the beginning.
To ensure fairness in the election process, and the outcome accepted by all, we wish to call for total abolishment of the online voting system. In place of the online voting system, we propose direct chapter voting system like the electoral process in Ghana, where executive party elections are conducted, at the constituency, regional and national levels.
Resolution can be taken at the upcoming congress to ensure immediate implementation of this proposed credible electoral process. We believe this will give candidates the opportunity to have representatives at the chapters level to monitor the process. We haven’t forgotten so soon, the outcome of the 2012 court petition, and the statement made by the then EC Chairman, stating “elections are won at the polling station level”. We have mistrust in the online voting and hence, we want it to be abolished.
Absence of Candidate Representation at the EC
Since the formation of the current Election Committee, put together by the NPP-USA NEC, candidates vying for executive positions have not been allowed to send their representatives to monitor the conduct of the electoral process. Some aggrieved members sent petition to the EC to complain about the credibility of the electoral register. Though, an emergency meeting was called to address the concerns raised, the suggestion made to include representatives from all the candidates, was declined. This is in bad faith, because transparency is a critical mass in any electoral process in a democratic society. Closing the system on others, and at the same time allowing other beneficiary candidates to oversee the process is tantamount to undermining the whole essence of free, fair and transparent elections.
Disenfranchisement of Potential Voters
Complaints have been received from some chapters where members who paid their dues from 2016, had their names excluded from the electoral register. This is a tactical manner of excluding some unfavoured members of the acting NPP-USA Chairperson from the voting list, as part of the machinations to rig the elections. The Election Committee’s attention was drawn to this anomaly. Unfortunately, no concrete attention has been given to this important concern. It must be emphasized that the current membership structure of NPP USA, creates dichotomy between chapter membership and national membership. We believe this is not fair, and undemocratic.
We feel the existing bye laws in the constitution of NPP -USA contribute to such discrepancies, hence, we propose for congress to amend such a clause so that any member who has duly paid his/her dues up-to-date, shall be given the opportunity to cast his/her vote. This will resolve the apprehension of majority of chapter members, especially the grassroots who feel they are being marginalized or disenfranchised by the system.
Lack of Financial Accountability
This issue is a critical concern of majority of NPP-USA members, as the current and previous executives have failed to render accounts to members. These executives have not provided periodic financial reports since the last election held in 2014 and hence, contravenes Article 4.6 (f) of the by-laws which stipulates as follows:
The Treasurer shall maintain the financial records of NPP-USA National and present reports of the financial status of NPP-USA at each meeting and the biennial Congress. At each Biennial Congress, the Treasurer shall present financial statements audited by an independent accountant.
We want members to be furnished with the constitutionally mandated financial statements before the next elections. The inability on the part of the current executives to provide members with up-to-date financial accounts of the party is creating animosity and mistrust against the party leadership. We demand credible accountability audited by an independent accountant at an organized congress before the conduct of the upcoming elections.
We believe, if urgent attention is not given to this anomaly, the reputation of NPP party is at stake. We live in a society where the federal government of USA takes financial dealings of any association seriously. Therefore, it is our proposal that the current leadership of the NPP be called upon to provide members with up-to-date financial status of the party since the last congress.
Failure to Conduct Biennial Congress Before the Elections
According to article 4.12 (a) and (b) of the by-laws, there should be biennial congress, where the general policies of the NPP-USA is laid out before the next congress. At this congress, the by-laws can be ratified if proposed by a member. Unfortunately, the leadership has failed to organize such congress since 2014, hence preventing members from exercising their constitutional rights in demanding for changes in the existing by-laws, which the online voting is a key concern. The following are the direct quotes from the by-laws:
4.12: NPP-USA Congress
(a)There shall be a biennial (every two years) NPP-USA Congress which shall take place at a date and place in the United States as decided by the National Executive in consultation with the Board of Advisors.
(b) The purpose of the Congress are : (i) To lay out the general policies of the NPP-USA before the next Congress (ii) To apprise the strength and performance of the organization in the subsequent years (iii) To acclaim and outdoor the new National Executive members who have been elected by NPP-USA members through one-person-one vote system of voting prior to congress (iv) To consider and ratify the By-Laws if proposed, and (iv) To discuss the financial position of the organization during the fiscal year.
Based on these, it is justified that the current executive committee has breached these constitutional rights of members and hence, we cannot conduct the elections with the current elections guidelines which include online voting system. We strongly advocate for amendments of the existing by-laws at the congress before the elections are conducted.
In view of the above issues raised, which we believe are justifiable grievances, we wish to call for the postponement of the upcoming NPP- USA elections slated for March 15, 2018 to March 16, 2018, to allow for thorough scrutiny of the process. This will allow members to move and adopt a resolution during the congress, before the elections are conducted at the chapter levels or an organized congress where members will be present to vote.
Name Chapter Email
Mr. Joseph Osei Owusu OH-Cincinnati [email protected]
Mr. Latif Seidu Georgia-Atlanta [email protected]
Mr. Joseph Oduro Georgia-Atlanta [email protected]
Mr. Michael Manu-Gyamfi Massachusetts [email protected]
Mr. Michael Adu-Gyamfi Massachusetts [email protected]
Mr. Tanko Yakubu Georgia-Atlanta [email protected]
Mr. Ishmael Tweneboa-Kodua Georgia-Atlanta [email protected]
Mr. Atta Adu-Gyamfi Chicago-Illinois [email protected]
Mr. Opoku Boakye Connecticut [email protected]
Mr. Isaac Preko Washington DC [email protected]
Mr. Collins Owusu Osei Washington DC [email protected]
Mr. Kofi Gyau Washington DC [email protected]
Mr. Nana Romeo Duku Massachusetts [email protected]
Mr. Charles Kwaku Owusu Georgia-Atlanta [email protected]
Mr. Joseph Kofi Quansah Washington DC [email protected]
Ms. Mabel Yaa Konadu Washington DC [email protected]
Mrs. Angela Quaidoo Washington DC [email protected]
Dr. Charles Dankwa Sarbeng Maryland [email protected]
Dr. Yaw Mensah Washington DC [email protected]
Dr. Richard Sarpong Boadi Washington DC [email protected]
1. NPP NEC, Headquarters, Accra, Ghana.
2. NPP Director of International Affairs, Accra, Ghana
3. The Ambassador to United States, Washington DC, USA
4. NPP-USA NEC
5. NPP-USA Election Committee