Declaration of Mahama as NDC leader is common sense approach; Ofosu-Kwakye replies Amidu
8/18/2012 4:30:09 PM -
A member of the Government's communications team says the decision by the National Executive Council of the National Democratic Congress to make President John Mahama leader and flagbearer of the NDC is not only legal but common sense driven.
Felix Ofosu-Kwakye who was on Saturday's edition of the Joy FM and MultiTV's news analysis programme Newsfile insisted 'time was of the essence' and there was no need sidelining a well marketed candidate who is already president of the country for another person.
He was reacting to a statement issued by the former Attorney General, Martin Amidu who is accusing the party executives of imposing President John Mahama on the party members.
Whilst conceding that then Vice President John Mahama was 'naturally and properly' sworn in as president after the demise of sitting president John Mills, he averred it was wrong and hastily indecent for the General Secretary of the NDC Johnson Asiedu Nketia to announce, John Mahama as the leader and flagbearer of the NDC just a day after Prof Mills died.
The General Secretary of the NDC in declaring President John Mahama as leader and flagbearer of the NDC quoted article 26(1) of the NDC to support the decision by the executives.
The article states: 'the president of the Republic who is a member of the Party is the leader of the Party when in government.'
But Amidu said reading that article in isolation is erroneous and misleading. He quoted Article 26(2) of the same NDC Constitution which states that: 'Where the President of the Republic is not elected a flag bearer, a person elected as flag bearer of the party at any time prior to the election is the leader of the party.'
He is convinced the current leaders of the NDC were arbitrary in their 'selective and out of context interpretation' of the NDC constitution.
But Felix Ofosu-Kwakye vehemently disagreed with the former Attorney General describing the arguments he put forward as 'inexplicable.'
He said the NDC constitution is so simple and unambiguous and does not require one to be a lawyer to understand it.
He stated further that apart from Article 26 (1) of the NDC constitution, the decision taken by the NDC NEC to make Mahama the leader and flagbearer of the NDC is firmly grounded on Article 50 of the same constitution which gives power to the NEC to take decisions on behalf of the party on issues that are not covered by the Constitution.
Felix Ofosu-Kwakye said the NDC constitution was silent on what to do in a likely situation of the death of sitting president and therefore gave the power to the NEC to chart a new path.
He posited: 'Sometimes common sense is also necessary in times like this. Time is also of the essence. Assuming that even the constitution that we have does not cater for situations like this, common sense dictates that if you have a president somebody who has assumed the position as president; somebody who was on the ticket of the previous candidate of the election you do not rock the boat; you do not set the cats among the pigeons at a time when you have less than a month to go through these motions to present a candidate."
He said the intervention by Amidu is highly hypocritical given that he Amidu benefitted from the same scenario he is bastardising at the moment.
According to him, Martin Amidu in the infamous Swedru declaration was made a vice president to Atta Mills in the 2000 elections and demanded that the former AG must explain to all Ghanaians why he accepted the position of a vice -presidential candidate in what he is describing today as illegal.
The Editor of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Kweku Baako in part agreed with the arguements made by the former Attorney General.
Whilst agreeing that it made sense for the NDC executives to acclaim Mahama as the leader and flagbearer of the party, he said the haste with which it was done was problematic.
He also advised the party executives to set out clear regulations upon which President John Mahama was made president before the party holds congress later next month.