NDC Gears Up For Kumasi CongressBy Donald Ato Dapatem - Daily Graphic
8/21/2012 9:16:11 AM -
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is making feverish preparations for a congress to endorse President John Dramani Mahama as the flag bearer of the party in Kumasi on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
Already more than 11 committees have started work in earnest towards ensuring a successful congress, which will also be used to launch the party’s 2012 campaign.
Accommodation for the more than 4,000 delegates to the congress has been secured in the Kumasi metropolis. Delegates are expected to arrive on August 29, 2012 and on the morning of August 30, 2012 converge on the Kumasi Sports Stadium to endorse President John Mahama.
Delegates consist of 10 persons from each constituency, all ministers of state, district chief executives and Council of Elders. Those from the regions will include women organisers, chairmen of regional executive committees and regional secretaries, among others.
The committees include Publicity, Materials and Logistics, Congress Secretariat, Elections, Standing Orders, Accreditation, Boarding and Lodging, Security, Medicals, Local Organising and Grounds.
After the election of President Mahama, the delegates and other party faithful would gather at the Jackson Park in Kumasi for the
launch of the party’s 2012 campaign aimed at retaining the presidential seat and increase its majority in Parliament.
Briefing graphic.com.gh in Accra from the congress grounds in Kumasi, the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Yaw Boateng-Gyan, urged the delegates to overwhelmingly vote for President Mahama to honour the memory of late President Mills and also ensure that the NDC had capable hands to complete the Better Ghana agenda, as well as secure a landslide victory for the party in the December polls.
He explained that it was the late President Mills who spotted President Mahama, made him the running mate in 2008 and realising the affable and hardworking nature of then Vice-President Mahama, renominated him as his running mate for the 2012 elections.
“I am confident that if President Mills had been around he would have supported the candidature of John Mahama and gone ahead to campaign for him to ensure that he became the President of Ghana to continue with the social democratic agenda of the party,” he said.
Mr Boateng-Gyan explained that the party decided on holding the congress on a weekday instead of the usual weekend, because the Electoral Commission (EC) was starting the exhibitions of the voters register, an exercise which required that all registered voters cross-checked their names and other details on Saturday, August 30, 2012.
He explained that since most of the delegates were party executive members at their various constituencies and regions, they needed to be around their registration centres to monitor the nationwide 10-day exercise.
For his part, a Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr George Lawson, urged all delegates to vote massively to endorse President Mahama as the flag bearer.
“We just don’t need 50 per cent plus one, the votes should be landslide similar to what they gave President Mills at the Sunyani Congress,” he told graphic.com.gh.
According to him, through the instrumentality of late President Mills, President Mahama had been exposed to the nation and “is the most marketed among all the persons seeking the mandate of the electorate”
A day after the demise of President Mills, who had been elected a year earlier as the flag bearer of the NDC for the 2012 general election, the National Executive Committee of the party met in Accra and endorsed President Mahama as the party's flag bearer for the December general election.
At its emergency meeting, the NEC identified a lacuna in the party’s constitution with regard to the replacement of an elected flag bearer four months to elections.
The NEC, in accordance with Article 50 of the NDC constitution, endorsed the sole candidature of President Mahama for the congress in Kumasi.
The motion for the endorsement was moved on behalf of the Parliamentary caucus by Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Communications, and seconded Mr Danny Annan, Vice Chairperson of the NDC, and Mr Kwasi Aboagye.
The party executive had explained that the issue of the vacant position of a running mate would take place after the election of President Mahama as the flag bearer. The flag bearer is expected to nominate his running mate in consultation with party executives including the Council of Elders.