25.07.2006 Politics

Leadership crisis in DFP

By Daily Graphic
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The yet-to-be-registered Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) has been hit by its first major share of conflict following a stand-off between two party heavyweights over the appointment of interim executives.

Party giants Dr Yao Obed Asamoah and Alhaji Mohammed Sani Farl are currently entangled in a political disagreement over who has to chair the party's interim executive before its first national congress early next year.

Party insiders confirmed the internal strife to the Daily Graphic yesterday with the revelation that while Dr Asamoah insists that Alhaji Issaka Bawa, formerly of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), should be appointed the interim chairman, Alhaji Farl wants Mr Mike Eghan, a former Vice-Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP), to take the position.

They described the interim chairmanship position as a most prized one at this stage of the party's emergence, since it would impact heavily on future policies and direction of the party.

The sources disclosed that the conflict erupted when Alhaji Farl openly opposed Dr Asamoah's push for Mr Bawa to become the interim chairman, on the grounds that Mr Abraham Kofi Asante, another former member of the NDC, had been appointed interim general secretary of the DFP at the whims of Dr Asamoah.

Alhaji Farl, therefore, insisted that the chairmanship of the party should not be occupied by another former member of the NDC and rooted for Mr Eghan, who resigned as vice-chairman and member of the CPP.

That, Alhaji Farl argued, was imperative to give the party a neutral face, so that it would not be seen as duplicating the NDC.

In the midst of the acrimony, a four member emergency committee, comprising the two protagonists, as well as Mr Eghan and Mr Kwaku Baah, was to make any breakthrough, since both Dr Asamoah and Alhaji Farl held on to their entrenched positions.

Following that abortive attempt, a decision was taken to call a plenary meeting where all members of the party would be present to iron out the differences, but Alhaji Farl opposed such a meeting as illegitimate, since it had not been sanctioned by the management committee.

The proposal was subsequently withdrawn.

The sources said Alhaji Farl, a pioneer member of the party, then threatened to split the party into two if Dr Asamoah did not back down from his stand.

According to the sources, the venue for the meetings of the party, which used to be Dr Asamoah's residence, was moved to an office at Osu, following the heated argument between Dr Asamoah and Alhaji Farl.
The failure of the DFP to register with the Electoral Commission (EC), the sources claimed, was as a result of the disagreement over the appointment of the interim executives.

The sources claimed that Dr Asamoah had made some financial commitments to the DFP, which he helped to found a few months ago. His contributions included renting offices for the party.

According to the sources, several potential members of the party, including NDC faithful who had declare their intention to join the DFP, had declined to join it because of Dr Asamoah's attitude.

It is recalled that at the first press conference of the DFP last month, the spokesman for the party, Mr Asante, promised to introduce a political environment devoid of personal attacks and insults and also spring a surprise in the 2008 elections.

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