STATEMENT BY THE ACTING GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NPP, JOHN BOADU AT A PRESS CONFERENCE TO OFFICIALLY OUTDOOR THE PARTY’S REVIEWED CONSTITUTION
Good afternoon Distinguish Members of our party and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press
We have invited you here primarily to officially outdoor the NPP’s REVIEWED CONSTITUTION having successfully gone through the rigorous processes of amendment in conformity with the relevant constitutional provisions. It would be recalled that in pursuance to the provisions of Article 18 of the party constitution, an opportunity was afforded members of the party in Ghana and abroad to submit proposals for constitutional amendments through the office of the general secretary for onward submission to national delegates’ conference for consideration. Upon receipt of these proposals, my outfit compiled same and made available to all stakeholders at least one clear month before the 26th August National Delegates’ Conference held at Cape Coast. Conference could however not adopt these amendment proposals due to time constraint among other compelling reasons.
Accordingly, conference passed a Resolution instructing National Council to set up an ad-hoc committee to streamline these amendment proposals together with other relevant considerations and present their report to conference at an extraordinary national delegates’ conference to be organized at a later date. Consequent to this, National Council at its 4th general meeting held on September 13, formed an 11-member adhoc committee under the chairmanship of F.F Antoh. Other members of the committee were Madam Joyce Opoku Boateng, Hon. O.B. Amoah, Hon. Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, Hon. Godfred Yeboah Dame, Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Mr. Agness Okudzeto, Hon. Ben Abdalla, Mr. Antwi, Mrs. Joyce Agyemang Attafour and Richard Asante Yeboah.
The committee was inaugurated on 14th September, 2017 and was given 2 months within which to submit their final report to the party as per the resolution of national conference. Upon receipt of the committee’s report, the national chairman, invoking Article 9 (A)(5) of the party constitution, called for an extraordinary national delegates’ conference for the sole purpose of adopting the committee’s report on the amendment proposals.
The extraordinary national delegates’ conference as you would know, came off on 17th December, 2017 in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital. Conference considered and debated over 80 motions as contained in the report of the adhoc committee. Some of the motions were successfully adopted whereas others were rejected by conference. A few others, deemed contentious, were withdrawn by the sponsors of the motion on legitimate grounds.
The hardworking delegates of our party exhibited significant sense of discernment and maturity in their considerations of the various amendment proposals with recourse to the party’s supreme interest at all times. Eventually, we had a very successful conference with far-reaching amendments that would further strengthen the party organization at all levels. Once again, let me use this opportunity to acknowledge the instrumental role played by His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo towards the success of the conference. The party is also thankful to His Excellency the Vice President, Ministers of State, MPs, MMDCEs and other government appointees, National/Regional/Constituency executives, our external branches and indeed all the delegates to the conference for the diverse role they played in the attainment of this historic feat for the party.
After the conference, we put-up a committee to compile all the approved motions or amendment proposals into a single document. This exercise was done successfully and at the last National Council meeting held on January 8, 2018, their report was considered. So, it is gratifying to say that all is now set for the reviewed constitution to come into force. It is for this reason that today, we are witnessing the official inauguration of the constitution of the party, having incorporated all the approved amendments. Having said that, I now have the singular honour and privilege on behalf of the party, to declare the party’s reviewed constitution duly inaugurated on this 16th day of January, 2018.
KEY AMENDMENT PROVISIONS
It is worthy of note that a lot of the Articles in the previous constitution have been amended in various ways, either by new insertions, deletion or alteration. Some of the provisions were also streamlined and fine-tuned in order to do away with inconsistencies and enhance readability. Obviously, for want of time, I am unable to go through all the amendments that were effected. However, I would want to touch briefly on a few major ones.
1) Amendment of Article 14 [now, Article 15] to make NASARA one of the Special Organs of the Party just like the youth wing and the women’s wing. This also means that the following Articles have been amended
– Article 7(2) to include Deputy Constituency Nasara Coordinator who shall be appointed. The substantive Constituency Nasara Coordinator shall be elected
– Article 9(1) to include Deputy Regional Nasara Coordinator who shall be appointed
– Article 10(4) to include two Deputies for the National Nasara Coordinator both of whom shall be appointed
2) On the convening of meetings, Article 7, 9 and 10 have been amended in respect of constituency, regional and national organization respectively to read as follows;
In the event that the Constituency/Regional/National Chairperson fails to convene a meeting, a written resolution by a quarter of the membership of the Constituency/Regional/National Executive Committee should be sufficient to compel the convening of a meeting with stated agenda as communicated in the resolution.
3) Article 8 has been amended to give the party’s external branches a representation at the National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Council.
4) Article 10 has been amended to include past Presidential Candidates and past Running Mates as members of the National Executive Committee (NEC).
5) Article 10 has been amended to make the President a member of the party’s Steering Committee.
6) Article 4 has been amended to strengthen the party’s grievance procedure on the matters of discipline and provides as follows:
a. No member of the Regional Executive Committee shall be a member of the Regional Disciplinary committee
b. In order that the hearing of petitions are expedited, the Regional Disciplinary Committee shall ordinarily not spend more than 4 weeks in dealing with any matter before it and shall submit a report together with its recommendations to the Regional Executive for implementation or onward transmission to the Constituency office for implementation
c. The National Disciplinary Committee has been reconstituted as follows:
i. One (1) person appointed by the National Executive Committee who shall be a woman.
ii. Two (2) representatives of the Party’s Parliamentary Group appointed by that group; at least one of whom shall be a woman
iii. One (1) representative of the National Council of Elders appointed by that group
iv. One (1) representative of the Legal and Constitutional Committee appointed by that group
v. One (1) representative of the Regional Chairpersons appointed by that group
vi. One (1) person appointed by the National Chairperson
vii. One (1) person appointed by the President where the Party is in government or the Presidential candidate where the Party is in opposition.
viii. At the first meeting of the National Disciplinary Committee, the Chairman shall be elected from among members by the members themselves.
7) Article 10 has been amended to read as follows:
The national secretariat shall be headed by the General Secretary and consist of the following;
i. National Organizer,
ii. Director of Finance & Administration
iii. Director of Communications,
iv. Director of Campaign Strategy,
v. Director of IT
vi. Director of Research and Elections
vii. Director of External Affairs
viii. Director of Protocol
With the coming into force of this reviewed constitution, all is set for the party to hold its internal primaries to elect executive officers to occupy the various positions in the party from the polling station to national level using the provisions in the revised constitution. As we have indicated previously, the polling station elections would be held across all the 29,000+ polling stations in the country from Wednesday, 17th January to Sunday, 21st January, 2018. This would be followed with the election of Electoral Area Coordinators from 26th to 29th January, 2018. Chapter Elections for all our External Branches have been scheduled for February 15 to 25, whereas the elections of all External Branch Executives would be held from the 18th to 30th of March, 2018.
As part of preparations towards holding the Polling Station and Electoral Area primaries, the party, on January 10, issued GUIDELINES that would govern the conduct of the Polling Station and Electoral Area elections. These Guidelines were discussed and approved by the party’s second highest decision making body, the National Council at its 1st general meeting for the year which was held on 8th January, 2018.
GUIDELINES (Rules and Regulations) GOVERNING POLLING STATION/ELECTORAL AREA ELECTIONS
The Guidelines, among other things, provide that there shall be a Polling Station Elections Committee (PSEC) and Electoral Area Elections Committee (EAEC) in each Constituency for the purpose of conducting and supersizing all the polling station and electoral area elections in the respective Constituencies. Membership PSEC/EAEC shall be composed of the following;
– One Representative appointed by the Regional Executive Committee who shall be the chair
– One Representative appointed by the Constituency Executive Committee
– The Constituency Research/Elections officer
– Two Representatives from the Constituency Council of Elders and Patrons, one of whom shall be a woman
? A prospective candidate in the Polling Station elections, who shall be a known and active member of good standing and resident within the particular polling station he/she is wishing to contest, shall procure an Application Form at a cost of GHS 10 from the PSEC.
? He/she shall be nominated by one (1) person and seconded by three (3) registered members of the party, all of whom shall be of good standing at that particular polling station.
? The PSEC shall paste photographs of elected polling station officers on prescribed form and hand it over to the Constituency Secretary or Research/Elections officer for onward submission to National Secretariat through the Regional party for the compilation of the Constituency Album.
? A prospective candidate in the Electoral Area Elections, who shall be a known and active member of good standing, shall procure an Application Form at a cost of GHS 20.
? He/she shall be nominated by one (1) elected polling station officer and seconded by three (3) registered members who are known and active members of the party who reside in that particular polling station.
? The EAEC shall paste photograph of Electoral Area Coordinators on prescribed form and hand it over to the Constituency Secretariat through the Research and Election Officer for onward submission to National Secretariat through the Regional party for the compilation of the Constituency Album.
? The polling station register shall be used as the register for the conduct of the polling station elections.
? However, known and active members who reside and vote at a particular polling station but whose names, for some reasons, have not been captured in the Polling Station Register are eligible to vote provided that two (2) members can vouch for their membership.
? Also, voters in both the polling station and electoral area elections shall use their party membership Identity (ID) card but where same is unavailable, National Voters ID card shall be admitted for the purpose of voting.
We wish to state categorically that no prospective aspirant shall be denied access to the purchase of Application Form upon request. No individual shall be permitted to purchase more than one Application Form and so, for the people wishing to pay the cost of the Forms for a number of prospective aspirants, the payment must be made to the PSEC/EAEC within the stipulated time before the Forms can be made available to them.
Constituency and regional primaries shall be held from 21st to 24th February, 2018 and from 21st to 24th April, 2018 respectively. These internal primaries would then be climaxed with the election of National Executive Officers at the 2018 National Delegates’ Conference of the party to be held from June 15 to 17, 2018.
The NPP holds the view that this reviewed constitution we are inaugurating today, would add the needed impetuous to the party’s organizational strength at all levels. It has been well streamlined and made more effective to directly reflect the exigencies of this moment. In effect, if we are all going to strictly adhere to the provisions of this reviewed constitution, which I’m confident, we would; then I dare say that the NPP shall face no more internal crisis Insha Allah and that, we would continue to remain in government and delivering prosperity to the good people of this country.
Finally, I also wish to use this opportunity to once again, make a passionate appeal to all the sympathizers and members of the party especially the would-be candidates for the various positions in the upcoming primaries and their supporters to conduct this exercise with the necessary candour so that we would have incidence-free primaries for the love of the party. It has always been said that the NPP is the pacesetter and best example of democratic values for other political parties in the country and on the continent of Africa and we don’t intend to lose this enviable recognition. Let it therefore be said that the NPP came out of the 2018 primaries as a much stronger party.