NPP Elections: Jake, Opare-Ansah Fight Over Modalities

Minority Chief Whip Fred Opare-Ansah is sparring with his party’s national Chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey over modalities for holding their national elections in March. In a tersely worded statement addressed to Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, the Suhum Legislator accused the Chairman of seeking to circumnavigate the party’s proper and constitutional provisions regarding the elections. Mr Opare-Ansah raised concerns about the party’s decision to decentralise the election in all ten regions instead of holding it a single venue as has always been the norm. He also wondered why the party has not held its national annual delegates conference since 2010. In the letter, Mr Opare-Ansah indicated that NPP MPs were willing to help sponsor the election if it was held at a single venue. He warned that losers in the election may drag the party to court for the first time in its history if his counsel is not heeded. According to him, a disagreement from the Chairman concerning his suggestions will smack of Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey’s “lack [of] integrity and a good sense of judgement to do what is right and proper for our party”. Similarly, he argued that a disagreement by the National Executive Council with his proposals would cast doubts on “the propriety of N.E.C. and create perceptions of unfair electoral platforms”. In his response letter to the Legislator, Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey explained that the party decided to decentralise the election to save cost. By his calculations, the party needed more than Ghc1 million to hold the election at a single venue and added that decentralising the process will save the party’s treasury Ghc850,000 since only Ghc150,000 will be needed to sponsor the decentralised election. He said each of the party’s MPs - should the N.E.C. decided to hold the election at a single venue - will need to contribute Ghc6,910 as contribution towards making up for the Ghc850,000 deficit needed to supplant the Ghc150,000, part of which would have been realised from filing fees. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the decision by the leadership of the NPP is for the greater good of the party within the current circumstances.