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03.05.2007 NPP News

Amend NPP Constitution - Douse

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has been called upon to further revise the Ninth Amendment of the 1998 Constitution of the party.

It stipulates that any minister, national officer and DCE who files to become a presidential candidate of the party should resign his/her position.

The call was made in a statement issued in Accra by a Business Development and Financial Consultant and President of the Peki Union, Mr Bernard H. Duose.

    

He called for a critical look to be taken at the provision to effect another amendment before September when actual nominations for the flag bearer position of the NPP would take place.

In the statement titled "Calls for serving ministers and party executives aspiring to be flag bearers to resign posts - another view," Mr Duose said public views on the matter was, "A good measure of the growth rate of entrenched democratic governance ideals, which has been the benchmark of the great New Patriotic Party and government".

Mr Duose, who was an independent candidate in the 2004 elections and an aspiring parliamentary candidate of the NPP for the 2008 elections in the South Dayi Constituency, pushed for a contrary view to the call for the resignation of such aspirants.

He stated that although that position was worthwhile and had some merit, "The advantages to both party and country would be manifold, should aspirants to our nation's presidency be selected from qualified citizens who have had the advantage and privilege of serving in governance or allied institutions, from where they would have garnered sufficient political leadership experience, knowledge and most probably public limelight and acceptance, which are critical qualities needed by a leader of government business or chief executive of government business".

"It is not sufficient to argue on the sole premise that aspiring flag bearers must resign their ministerial or functional positions since, according to the argument, they may exploit their incumbency to the disadvantage of other contestants who do not occupy similar posts; and also that their output of work would suffer under the strain of their political canvassing and campaign engagements," he said.

According to Mr Duose, "To advance our democratic culture and make it serve the best interest of Ghana, we must encourage people to first-bottom serving positions in the relevant institutions to first develop and refine their understanding and experience of higher public leadership".

The statement addressed to the President said, "In essence, what is being sought the most is a next President, not simply a candidate".

The Development Consultant pointed out that the President had the singular responsibility of both leader of government business and leader of his sponsoring political party and said "It stands to reason, therefore, that the ability of an aspiring party flag bearer to combine both his political organisational and ministerial responsibilities creditably makes such a person about the best material to lead the nation in future".

According to Mr Duose, once a person had been elected at congress as flag bearer to contest the presidency, the one was obliged to resign his or her public office and not before that.

He noted that with nine out of the number who had so far expressed interest to be flag bearer of the NPP being cabinet ministers, the immediate effect of applying the provision would be to "weed out some of the best and experienced ministerial persona, to the detriment of effective governance should these persons resign to pursue their presidential ambitions".

Another crippling effect would be to throw party cohesion to the wind since the NPP would have to find suitable replacements with its attendant complications in an election year, he said, adding that, "The net result could be disastrous in political terms".

Mr Douse noted that the current argument was in the interest of the NPP since it would help in building a succession tradition based on not just eligibility by virtue of means but also by merit.

He said that through this, "a sustainable system of leadership of our dear country would be established" without losing focus in building "a heaven out of our present circumstances under a continuous governance of Ghana led by the NPP's political philosophy and economic management".

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