Asiedu Nketiah: We can’t Be Copying Party Reforms from NPP.
The General Secretary of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketiah says the party has long kicked in processes to reform its electoral systems to afford all NDC members the opportunity to vote to elect presidential and parliamentary candidates.
The processes, he said, include a constitutional review to allow for all members to vote, as well as the adoption of a biometric registration and verification system for all NDC members to enable them vote to elect key party representatives.
He said those discussions started about two years ago, and when completed, will do away entirely with the electoral college system which provides for a select few to decide for a mass majority as to who becomes the party’s flagbearer or parliamentary candidates.
Asiedu Nketiah, also known as General Mosquito, was speaking on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Monday to respond to claims that the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry Rawlings had asked the party to copy the New Patriotic Party’s expanded Electoral College system in electing party candidates for national elections or face tough times during elections in 2016.
The former president while speaking last Saturday at Dzodze during the climax of the annual Deza festival, asked the NDC to expand eligible voters at party congress to no less than 150,000, a reform he said was bound to guarantee universal acceptability of elected representatives and enhance electoral fortunes as well as party cohesion. Listen to what Rawlings said.
The suggestion was tagged in sections of the media as an admonition to copy the NPP’s style.
But Asiedu Nketiah said the NDC cannot possibly be copying from its main political rivals when it comes to adult suffrage, since the NDC has also spoken against the NPP’s system that it cannot be representative enough.
What the NDC seeks to do, he explained, was to give each member the right to contribute to the decision-making process by voting to elect representatives. That right also comes with responsibility, and every member will be required to pay their dues regularly to fulfil their obligations.
When that system is in place that allows every constituency member to vote to elect parliamentary candidates and every card bearing member to vote to elect a presidential candidate, it will curtail the allegations of bribery and corruption levelled by defeated candidates and their supporters and also prevent the situation of defeated candidates going independent and dividing the party front, all of which are dangers inherent in the present systems.
He maintained that what the NDC was aiming to do was completely different from the NPP’s system and cannot therefore be said to be copying from the NPP, saying the party’s Constitutional Review Committee had prepared a draft for the constituencies to collate views on needed changes.