A flag bearer hopeful of the opposition Nationwide Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Goosie Tanoh, has hinted at dragging the get together to court in reference to the GHS420,000 nomination and submitting charges introduced for flag bear-aspirants.
Mr Tanoh and 7 different aspirants petitioned the celebration, demanding a discount of the nomination and submitting charges, which they described as outrageous.
Mr Tanoh didn’t decide a nomination type by the top of the 5 pm deadline on Tuesday, Four November 2018. Nevertheless, Prof Joshua Alabi, Mr Sylvester Mensah, and Mr Stephen Atubiga, who have been both signatories to the petition or shared in the content material of that doc, picked their nominations varieties nonetheless.
Varieties have been additionally picked on behalf of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr Alban Bagbin by a few of his supporters however he has rejected it and has additionally hinted at dragging the social gathering to court.
Mr Tanoh has defined that he declined to select the nomination types as a result of he has not heard from the get together’s Council of Elders over the petition introduced to them to intervene as regards to the “exorbitant” submitting charge.
In a press release signed by Mr Kyeretwie Opoku, the Goosie Marketing campaign Staff stated the Nationwide Government Committee (NEC) of the NDC was perpetuating illegalities as far as tips for the presidential primaries have been involved.
He indicated that not choosing the nomination types doesn’t imply he’s withdrawing from the flag bearer race, however “we will also take whatever steps political or legal to protect our interests and the interests of the party masses.”
Under is Mr Tanoh the complete assertion:
NDC GUIDELINES FOR PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES & THE GOOSIE 2020 CAMPAIGN: FORWARD EVER!
On 29 November the NDC Common Secretary held a media convention at the Get together HQ in Accra to current the brand new NEC’s proposed “Guidelines” for electing a 2020 flagbearer. The Common Secretary’s handle and the Tips launched to the general public that very same day have attracted widespread condemnation. Eight Flagbearer aspirants, together with Goosie Tanoh whose marketing campaign O4GH is sponsoring, filed a petition to the Celebration’s Council of Elders, the physique charged by Article 24(5)(a) of the Get together Structure with “…resolving disputes among party members and amongst the various institutions of the Party.” The petition drew consideration to NEC’s failure to adjust to the Get together structure in issuing the Tips and pointed to perceived bias on the a part of NEC members. Aspirants requested the Council to intervene to guard the integrity of the method.
As of 17:00 hours on Tuesday, Four December, aspirants haven’t heard from the Council. Accordingly, a number of candidates together with Goosie Tanoh declined on precept to gather nomination types as this may serve to legitimise the illegal Tips. In any regular law-abiding organisation, discover of such a petition would have been sufficient to set off a session with the aggrieved Events. Sadly, NEC officers have indicated their intention to proceed as deliberate and have closed the gathering of nomination varieties. Numerous events have indicated an intention to proceed to court to compel the NEC to respect the NDC Structure. Others are contemplating mounting political actions to the identical finish. Others are suggesting that NEC’s conduct violates not solely the NDC Structure but in addition the 1992 Republican structure.
Two years of Social gathering elite manoeuvres to paper over the cracks have utterly failed. The NDC disaster is as soon as once more out in the open with all the problems arising from the 2016 defeat again on the desk. The one method to transfer ahead now’s an open constructive dialogue of the Social gathering’s challenges. With out prejudice to our rights to take authorized motion towards NEC, O4GH want to put our perspective ahead to help such a dialogue.
B. Authorized Points
We consider there are three authorized grounds for halting and reviewing the Primaries course of.
1. NEC has not met the Procedural Necessities for issuing Tips for Presidential Primaries
Because the Aspirants indicated in their petition to the Council of Elders Article 42(1)(f) of the NDC structure makes session with the Council of Elders a requirement for issuing Tips for Presidential primaries. NEC ignored this requirement. NEC spokespersons are clumsily making an attempt to spin their method by way of it in the media. Three fundamental strains of “defence” have emerged up to now. Some NEC members declare that the Council was certainly consulted. Others say that because the Council doesn’t have the facility to veto NEC selections session is simply a formality and non-consultation doesn’t invalidate their selections. Others argue that since NEC has not but appointed a Council of Elders it has no obligation to seek the advice of them.
Our response to those three arguments could be very easy. First, no session was held, and Celebration officers shouldn’t mislead the Celebration. Second, the truth that Council can’t veto NEC selections doesn’t invalidate the requirement to seek the advice of and for NEC to recommend in any other case demonstrates excessive disrespect for the Structure that’s the supply of their very own authority. Third, NEC can’t disguise behind its personal failure to nominate a Council of Elders to excuse non-compliance with a constitutional requirement to seek the advice of it (and in any case the Common Secretary said final Thursday at his Media Convention that NEC had determined that each one appointees of the final NEC have been to remain at publish till they have been formally changed by new appointees).
2. NEC has exceeded its authority in Issuing Tips for Presidential Primaries
NEC has included in the Tips a requirement that a Contestant should have been Celebration member for at least 10 years. This isn’t in the Structure. Solely Congress can amend the Get together Structure. NEC can solely present tips for implementing what’s in the Structure – not change it.
three. NEC is displaying bias in its administration of the Primaries course of.
A lot of NEC members together with the Chairman and the Common Secretary have made public declarations of help for the candidacy of HE John Mahama. The current Celebration Congress was stage-managed to advertise John Mahama’s marketing campaign with an unscheduled invitation to deal with the Closing ceremony and the enjoying over the convention loudspeakers of his 2020 marketing campaign track. There are ample stories of “directives” from NEC members to decrease officers of the social gathering instructing them to take steps to additional Mr Mahama’s marketing campaign. With this degree of demonstrated bias, different contestants merely can’t belief NEC to run the Primaries in a free and truthful method. It is sensible to place another neutral physique such because the Electoral Fee in cost of the method.
C. Political Points
There are at least 2 political grounds for reviewing and restarting the Primaries Course of.
1. NEC seeks to impose submitting charges that forestall virtually all members of the celebration from providing themselves for management and is thereby denying the complete Electoral School the chance to vote for Contestants who can’t increase such giant sums of cash in such a ten-day interval.
The most important supply of public outrage has been the GHS 420,000 submitting charges that the NEC Tips search to impose on contestants. We want to cope with this at some size. We consider NEC settled on these charges as a result of NDC is broke and since NEC seeks to pre-determine the Primaries’ consequence. Excessive submitting charges are a fast supply of money to satisfy excellent payments, a means of decreasing prices by eliminating contestants, and a approach of smoothing the trail for his or her most popular candidate who as soon as “democratically” elected will then, hopefully, open his conflict chest to fund the Celebration’s 2020 marketing campaign.
NDC should transfer in the other way. What’s at stake shouldn’t be the rights of the varied aspirants. What’s at stake are the rights of about 2 million members in 30 thousand branches. If NDC believes in grassroots empowerment and in equal alternative for all, no matter revenue ranges, then it can’t place entry to management positions out of the attain of odd members. The submitting charges proposed are an assault on bizarre members’ rights to contest for management and certainly to vote and might be a violation of the nationwide structure. Social gathering leaders ought to cease listening solely to one another and take note of the outrage being expressed at the grassroots in and out of the NDC.
We should work to socialize the price of Get together elections such that submitting charges drop to the barest quantity required to cowl administrative prices. The determine of GHS100,000 that present aspirants proposed to the Council of Elders can solely be a place to begin. We should deliver charges right down to a degree that unusual celebration members can truly afford. If we’re critical we will obtain this by the Primaries for the 2024 elections.
The deeper challenge right here is: how ought to the NDC (or any Get together) fund itself? The best way a Celebration raises and makes use of assets isn’t just an administrative matter. It’s a elementary political matter that defines the relationships and accountability between Leaders and unusual members and between the celebration and the broader society. A celebration can select Elite Funding, the place a handful of rich patrons (sometimes corrupt public officers and their personal enterprise associates) kick-back to the Social gathering from state contracts. Alternatively, a Get together can select Democratic Funding the place the bizarre members of the celebration present funding (via dues, revenue incomes initiatives, and communal fundraising) with particular person donations enjoying a supplementary position.
O4GH rejects elite funding as a matter of political precept.
a. It distorts the connection between members and entrenches disunity. It creates boastful patrons / “big men” on the one hand and dependent “foot soldiers” / “brokers on the opposite with a deep structural distrust and resentment between the 2.
b. It breeds corruption as a result of, in order to maintain assets flowing, the Get together is compelled to desert its dedication to social equality and promote particular pursuits and unlawful self-serving acts of massive males.
c. It undermines the Get together’s help as a result of in time everyone sees and resents the corruption that’s ruining our lives.
d. It isn’t sustainable; funds move in solely when the Celebration is in energy and in a place to allocate public assets. These funds accumulate in personal arms and are then solely out there to the extent that the Celebration helps funds-holders persona agendas.
NDC’s present state of affairs illustrates all of the above issues completely.
The NEC capability to recommend submitting charges that may take a minimal wage earner 114 years to pay (assuming they didn’t spend on anything) demonstrates leaders’ continued habit to elite funding and rejection of democratic funding mechanisms that problem elite privileges and impunity. NEC members take as a right that solely rich individuals and ideally individuals who have benefited from patronage (and who will subsequently not rock the boat) ought to contest for management of the Celebration!
Are there options? Sure. OFGH believes Get together members ought to pay dues and will undertake political fundraising actions. In our travels across the nation to satisfy members of the Primaries’ electoral school, we’ve got proposed a determine of GHS1 per week (or equal in items or time). With a membership base of two million, this might yield GHS96million yearly or GHS384 million inside each Four-year electoral cycle. These funds can be enough to cowl all authentic recurring Celebration prices – together with election campaigns. These sums could possibly be invested in income-generating actions. They can be utilized to safe Social gathering borrowing. They are often supplemented by further fund-raising drives and personal donations. We’ve got mentioned with branches how they might hold a portion of those funds and pay the remaining in the direction of the maintenance of constituency, regional and nationwide get together buildings based mostly on the understanding that these organs will present the branches with particular political management providers.
We reject the paternalism posing as concern for the strange man that means that grassroots Celebration members can’t bear obligations. NDC members are accountable adults who’ve opted voluntarily to hitch a political social gathering as a result of they consider it may advance their social pursuits. They don’t seem to be irresponsible youngsters to be pampered and exploited by the Get together elite. The constraint to common dues cost has by no means been the poverty of members; – even in the poorest elements of the nation Get together members affirm that they make comparable funds to spiritual our bodies and household associations the place they will see advantages. The constraint to common dues cost has been the poverty of creativeness, organisation, and accountability of the Social gathering elite. In fact, Celebration members won’t spontaneously begin coughing up cash to pay Get together payments. We would require a marketing campaign of schooling, consensus constructing, imaginative options, and sanctions. We would require an indication of the native social affect that a functioning nationwide Social gathering may also help its branches obtain. It’ll require work with the grassroots to develop artistic schemes to gather, handle, distribute and account for dues. That’s what NDC wants a NEC for; to not simply keep away from our arduous issues.
Along with democratising our fundraising, we have to rethink our primaries course of in order that it’s extra environment friendly, inexpensive, and targeted on what is admittedly necessary for our future. For instance, we will remove the individualistic course of the place candidates criss-cross the nation in a haphazard means disrupting voters’ work and different commitments. The Celebration ought to be proactive. It ought to ask candidates to submit video or textual content manifestos in a prescribed format to the Elections Directorate by a given date for copy and distribution to all members of the Electoral School or to the Public with room for a lot of updates in the course of the course of the marketing campaign. The Social gathering ought to organise moderated debates at Constituency, Regional and Nationwide ranges for all members of the electoral school to allow them to hear immediately from and work together with candidates about their priorities, insurance policies, and programmes in order to determine how one can vote.
2. NEC seeks to impose an unreasonable Election timetable on the Get together.
Any dialogue about the time-frame for the Primaries should begin with a reminder: It isn’t aspirants’ rights which might be at stake right here as a lot because the rights of the 390 thousand members of the electoral school (representing 2 million Celebration members) to interrogate and assess the totally different contestants absolutely earlier than choosing their subsequent Celebration chief. That is the primary time that the NDC is managing aggressive primaries with such a big electoral school. As indicated NEC has executed nothing in any way to construction the method for effectivity and effectiveness – not even offered aspirants with the electoral register! But, NEC seems to be in a determined hurry to conclude the Primaries.
a. NEC has jumped essential actions (some constitutionally mandated) that one would anticipate of a brand new NEC; issues like issuing the Congress communiqué, finishing the appointment of NEC members, appointing Secretariat directorates and our bodies such because the Council of Elders and publishing their priorities and plan for his or her Four-year tenure of workplace. All these ought to logically take priority over primaries.
b. NEC refuses to spare 2 weeks to provide the Council of Elders a chance to evaluate and touch upon proposed Tips (and spare the Social gathering the embarrassment these Tips have triggered).
c. NEC proposes to make use of solely 46 of the 88 days that Congress has allowed for holding primaries although they are saying that they don’t but manage to pay for this.
d. Inside this truncated interval NEC is asking aspirants to finish nomination processes (together with elevating GHS420,000!) in 10 days once they themselves took 6 weeks to finish their nomination processes and lift the comparatively modest submitting charge of GHS10,000 (for the Get together Chairman!).
e. NEC has made no allowance for Christmas, the New Yr, impending referenda (which threaten to create their very own political tensions) or early January blues when individuals are looking for cash and get youngsters again to high school and so on. Successfully NEC is permitting about 15 days of precise campaigning directed at 30 thousand branches!
Why the push? Why does NEC assume that 15 days is sufficient time for candidates to introduce themselves nationally however thinks the Celebration wants 21 months to introduce the profitable candidate to the nation? The one principle that explains this and NEC’s different unusual behaviour is that NEC members or the forces behind them have determined who they need to emerge as victor from the Primaries they usually have concluded that a prolonged marketing campaign just isn’t in their curiosity as a result of it provides the opposite aspirants time to catch up.
Not one of the foregoing means in any method that our candidate is withdrawing from the race. Quite than take part in an illegal electoral association that tramples the rights of tens of millions of Get together members, O4GH will proceed to battle for the empowerment of abnormal department members and the accountability of NEC and different greater Social gathering organs to Social gathering members via our presidential marketing campaign. We’ll use the NEC administration of the marketing campaign for instance the deep malaise in our Celebration; discover methods in which we will remedy it, and encourage the grassroots to hitch arms to defend their rights and the wrestle for social justice. We may also take no matter steps political or authorized to guard our pursuits and the pursuits of the celebration plenty.
We stand prepared to hitch palms in any real effort to revive decency and order to our Social gathering life.
5 December 2018
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