Having called for a rejection by the grassroots of the NDC of a constitutional amendment to elect party executives at the constituency, region, and national before electing executives at the branches, a private legal practitioner and NDC activist, Lawyer Eric Delanyo Alifo proposes that the party must set up a five-member committee including lawyers, and led by the director of elections in every constituency to conduct branch elections in the constituencies.
Lawyer Alifo thinks the proposal to cut the base in the election of executives of the constituency, regional, and national is a lazy-man approach to resolving the problems that are associated with branch elections and shall have the effect of imposing party officials from branches to national and Members of Parliament on our supporters. This, he believes shall cause disaffection among the rank and file of the party, and will not augur well for the party going into the 2024 elections. Lawyers Alifo states that he is going through the trouble to make these suggestions because of his love for the party.
He made this statement today, the 6th of October, 2021 in a statement going viral on the internet.
READ HIS FULL COMMENTS BELOW:
NDC MUST SET UP A FIVE-MEMBER COMMITTEE TO ORGANIZE BRANCH ELECTIONS BEFORE ANY OTHER INTERNAL ELECTIONS
Following my call on the supporters of my dear party, the NDC, to reject the proposal to amend the party’s constitution to allow for election of party executives for constituency, region, and national before electing executives for the branches, some debate was generated across several NDC-affiliate platforms. Notably from my survey, only two persons have argued in favour of the proposal, and all are party members who are close to highly placed personalities in the party. This suggests that the proposal, which I think will destroy our party if implemented, is not in the interest of the masses, the base of our party, or the grassroots, although it may sit well with some of our “big people.” But I would respectfully wish to urge them to put the interest of the party above all other interests.
The one issue that runs through the arguments of the proponents of the proposal is that it is believed that branch elections have mostly been hijacked by constituency executives for their own personal and political interests. As a result, the right calibre of personnel are not elected at the branches, and their psyche is not prepared well enough for the entire of their duties, which include the task of campaigning for the party in general elections. Clearly, there is admission that our party has failed woefully, over the years to pay the requisite attention to how the party is managed at the base. This is the trouble the unpopular proposal, they claim, seeks to cure.
Regrettably, I do not think a proposal to skip elections at the branches until those at constituency, region, and national are first held shall resolve the problem of poor conduct and supervision of elections at the branches. It is because of this position I take, that I have decided to propose a clear way out of the quagmire, and provide some advice that shall yield a good organization of credible elections at the branches to energize our supporters at the base, and ensure that they are enthusiastic enough to perform all of their tasks.
But before I outline my recommendation, I wish to once again explain briefly why the proposal our grassroots supporters detest unreservedly is dangerous for our party. First, the proposal that the current branch executives shall elect new constituency executives, who shall in turn elect regional executives, and the latter then elect national executives, before our supporters at the grassroots shall have the opportunity to determine who their branch executives must be in the new election cycle means that our grassroots supporters shall not make any new inputs into electing new executives who shall be in charge of our party at the constituency, region, and national levels for the new election period.
Secondly, by making the current branch executives, who had also elected the current constituency executives about 4 years ago to be the ones to again elect our new constituency executives means that all or most of the current constituency executives may be retained whether or not they have performed their duties well. The same trend shall run through to the national level, and it is most likely than not that almost all the incumbent executives from constituency to national shall be retained.
We are being told that after the current branch executives would help to elect new constituency executives, for them to elect their bosses at region, and so up to national, the newly elected executives will now return to the branches to conduct elections there. Does anyone seriously think that the new executives will conduct the branch elections in a manner to change the current branch executives who have facilitated their own elections so easily? I don’t think this shall happen, and it will create serious problems for the party at the branches.
Seriously, if the unfortunate proposal is examined carefully, one would find that it is only intended to retain all the current executives of the party from the branch to national levels. So, how about the many of our supporters who also want to contest for various positions within the party? They shall be dealt a rough blow, and the repercussion for the party shall be dire.
The one salient factor the proponents of the ill-conceived proposal are missing is that hitherto, constituency elections have not been highly competitive in the party. It has been pretty easy for constituency executives to retain their positions term after term. In actual fact, the mismanagement and manipulation of branch elections, whether or not committed by constituency executives, is actually done at the behest of Members of Parliament, or for their interest. Accordingly, the argument is that if constituency executives are already elected before branch elections would be held, there shall be no incentive for the new constituency executives to want to manipulate the branch elections is flawed.
The constituency executives shall essentially remain the same, and they are already very close to the MPs, so they shall still try to manipulate the branch elections for MPs. In fact, they shall do it more arrogantly this time when the party has amended its constitution to retain them in power like is done by Presidents in some African countries. In effect, the awful proposal shall also ensure that all officers of the party including Members of Parliament shall be retained in office as imposition by the party. Our supporters shall not be ready for this.
Finally, I was told by the only one person, who had argued in favour of the proposal on a platform I am on that when new constituency, regional, and national executives are elected, they would have the opportunity to now organize the party at the base and conduct proper elections at the branches. This one, I cannot make much sense of it. If it shall be possible for newly elected executives to conduct credible elections at the branches, why can current executives not equally do same?
Having given enough background information above, let me now propose a way out. A way to ensure that credible elections shall be organized at the branches to whip up the enthusiasm of our supporters. Mine is a simple proposal, and is as follows:
The party must set up a *five-member committee* for every constituency to design modalities and plans within the confines of NEC guidelines, and conduct, and supervise branch elections in every constituency before further elections would be conducted at constituency, region, and national. My suggestion of membership of the committee is as follows:
1. The director of elections of the constituency (not all of the elections directorate, since the members are appointed by constituency executives, and there still may be some concern);
2. A representative of NEC (may be from national elections directorate or otherwise);
3. A representative of the Legal Committee (a lawyer);
4. A representative of Region (may be from regional elections directorate); and
5. An active former appointee of any previous NDC government, who hails from the particular constituency, and must be appointed by the Regional Executive.
I am confident that a committee as suggested above shall organize free, fair, credible, and good branch elections in the constituencies, once there are transparent and flexible guidelines, modalities, and processes.
I am going through this trouble because I love my party, and as I see disaster looming by an attempt to whittle down the influence our grassroots in electing party executives from constituency to national, and further attempt to also cunningly impose these officials including Members of Parliament on our people, I have to speak out. Let us be advised.
Eric ƉELANYO Aliƒo
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication do not in anyway reflect the opinions of State News Ghana