An executive member of the Tema East branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has bemoaned his party’s crude attempt to influence the upcoming district Assemblies election.
At a news conference in Accra, Mr. Ashitey Adjei, who is popularly called Moshake, lamented that his party was being reckless in its attempts to get as many pro-NDC members of Assemblies as possible elected.
“In the wake of the Ofosu-Ampofo doctored tape saga, I think it is absolutely reckless that the national leadership of our party will organise primaries to determine the people who will run for the district Assembly elections. From this example, we all know it is no longer safe to do controversial things secretly.”
Moshake said it was disappointing that the national leadership of the party was clueless about the background of betrayal that was lurking under their secret efforts to influence the upcoming election.
The District Assemblies elections is scheduled for November, 2019 after it was postponed from its original date in September.
As these elections usually provide platform for people to run and work in Governance at the local level, political parties usually make moves to have as many people with leanings towards them as possible, to be elected.
However, according to Moshake, his party was being reckless in its attempts to influence the upcoming elections by secretly organising primaries within the party to elect pro-NDC candidates to run for the elections.
“The Local Governance Act of 2016, Act 936, is very clear on the matter of political interference. Section 8 of the Act is very clear, it states that, “8. (1) A candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or to any lower local government unit shall present that candidate’s self to the electorate as an individual and shall not use any symbol associated with any political party.
A political party shall not endorse, sponsor, offer a platform to 17 Local Governance Act, 2016 Act 936 or in any way campaign for or against a candidate who seeks election to a District Assembly or any lower local government unit.
A candidate who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to the cancellation of the nomination of that candidate by the Electoral Commission. (4) A political party that contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not less than one hundred penalty units and not more than two hundred and fifty penalty units. Cessation of office of a member,’” Moshake quoted.
Even so, he said he knew he would be naïve to think that political parties were put off by this section of the act, saying he knew even the ruling NPP tries to field its members in local level elections.
“But the way the NDC is going about it is very reckless. They have created room for our opponents to secretly infiltrate our ranks and pretend to be people who deserve the party’s support. These people, will mostly just collect information about the NDC’s secret illegal fielding of candidates, and give it to the national leadership of the NPP so that at the 11th hour, the NPP can use it to get the EC to disqualify many of the people we want to field,” Moshake said.
He said, the dangerous trap the NDC had set for itself was the result of the national leadership keeping out of touch with the regional and constituency executives and acting on its own.
He therefore urged the national leadership of the party to cease any primaries that were being held secretly to elect candidates for the district Assembly elections, and also advised that in future, such decisions be taken in conjunction with constituency executives.
Meanwhile, he has called on the electorates to elect the most competent people to lead local governance.
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