The final hurdle in the way to the New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) December 22 congress appears to have been cleared and today, Monday December 10, 2007, all the 17 presidential aspirants will receive the full list of delegates who will decide which one of them will be the party's flag bearer in the 2008 elections.
This follows the completion of the various constituency conferences to elect, nominate or select 10 delegates to represent each of the 230 constituencies at the congress.
The National Organiser of the party, Mr Lord Commey, who confirmed this to the Daily Graphic, added that as of December 6, 2007, the party headquarters had received the full list from six out of the 10 regions. They were the Western, Upper East, Upper West, Greater Accra, Brong Ahafo and Ashanti regions.
There are also some residual issues to deal with in some of the constituencies where issues have been raised with the method used in selecting the delegates.
Some of the constituencies where disputes are raging over the selection of delegates are in the Ashanti, Eastern, Volta, Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo regions.
In Ablekuma South in the Greater Accra Region, for instance, a petition by some aggrieved polling station chairmen has been presented to the National Chairman of the NPP, calling on the national executive of the party to annul the selection of the "so called delegates".
The petition, signed by Mr M.K. Ampaw, the solicitor for the aggrieved polling station chairpersons said when the party was organising its national rally at Kasoa to formally introduce the aspirants, the constituency executive clandestinely organised a con¬ference to select delegates.
That, the petition said, was without the knowledge of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency, Ms Theresa Tagoe, and the polling station chairpersons.
"I have the further instruction to formally petition your high office to stop this illegal and unconstitutional act by the executive," the petition said.
It said in view of the disputes among the polling station chairpersons in Ablekuma South, "we suggest that regional and national officers should come to the ground and supervise an election for the purpose of electing the delegates for the national congress".
At Dadekotopon, also in the Greater Accra Region, the polling station executives argued that the constituency executive arrogated to itself the power to select, instead of following the laid down procedures as specified in Article 6, Section 18 of the party's constitution.
A petition signed by Mr Ben K. Mintah for and on behalf the polling station executives said the NPP constitution which empowered the foot soldiers to be among the delegates expected to make them have a feel of the democratic process and to give them hope to work harder than ever for the sustenance of the party.
It requested that all the delegates selected, with the exception of. Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, be withdrawn immediately.
Ahead of the December 22 congress, the national executive directed all constituencies to select their delegates between November 26 and December 7, 2007.
Mr Commey confirmed that the national executive had received copies of the complaints from some constituencies concerning the selection of the delegates but stated that the regional executives who were in charge of the constituencies and were petitioned would settle them.
According to Mr Commey, the party was working within a specific time frame calculated to ensure a smooth and successful congress.
He said apart from making copies of the delegates' lists available to the 17 aspirants, the party would also have to use the names and pictures of the aspirants to prepare accreditation.
Article 6 (18) of the NPP constitution states that "Every constituency executive committee shall convene an extraordinary constituency delegates conference to elect, when required, six members of the constituency who are not constituency officers, together with the constituency officers, to attend the national delegates congress.”
Accordingly, for the purpose of the December 22 congress, the national executive directed all the 230 constituency chairmen of the party to convene and preside over constituency emergency conferences to select four out of the 10 constituency executives and six members of the party who were in good standing to make up the 10 who would attend the congress to elect a flag bearer for the party.