The fate of the six candidates aspiring to be the flag-bearer of the Convention People's Party in Election 2008 will be known today when the Central Committee meets to make recommendations on the report of the party's Vetting Committee.
The recommendations of the Central Committee would then be referred to the party's national congress slated for next Saturday and Sunday for a final decision to be taken on the candidates.
The chairman and national leader of the CPP, Dr Edmund N. Delle, who made this known to the Daily Graphic yesterday, confirmed that all the six aspirants for the flag-bearer position had presented their tax clearance certificates to the party.
They are Mr George Aggudey, who was the CPP presidential candidate in the 2004 election; Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, Member of Parliament (MP) for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem and former Minister of State; Mr Bright Akwetey, a private legal practitioner; Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, a former Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS); Dr Kwaku Osafo, an economist; and Dr Frederick William Asante Akuffo, a Tema-based medical practitioner.
Rumours are rife that one or more of the candidates stand the risk of disqualification for various reasons as per the report of the Vetting Committee but party chairman Dr Delle said the decision to disqualify a candidate was vested in the national congress and dismissed all reports to that effect as unofficial.
He declined to make further comments on the issue, particularly in respect of Mr Aggudey, who rumours had cited for disqualification for his indebtedness to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), preferring to leave the matter to the congress.
Reports say Mr Aggudey has struck a deal with SSNIT on the payment of social security contributions of his employees, clearing him of any problem of disqualification.
Highly placed sources within the party, however, told the Daily Graphic that it was not likely any candidate would be disqualified since any attempt to do so could plunge the party into a constitutional crisis.
Under the CPP constitution, any candidate who is disqualified from contesting an election has seven days within which to make an appeal.
But between now and congress day, the party is short of that stipulated number of days within which a disqualified candidate could make an appeal.
The situation has been complicated by the fact that the final decision of the party on the candidates has been vested in the national congress on the very day delegates are supposed to elect the party's flag-bearer.
When confronted with that imminent constitutional crisis, the CPP chairman acknowledged the problem, saying it had come about because this was the first time that the CPP was going through such an experience.
“It is a constitutional issue and so it is wise for us to be patient and careful,” he remarked, expressing the hope that all the six candidates would sail through.
Dr Delle said in view of the dilemma, the Central Committee would seek to advise the candidates on whatever decision was arrived at in their own interest and that of the party.
On preparations for the national delegates congress, Dr Delle said after the Greater Accra and Volta Regional delegates elections today and Wednesday respectively, all would be set for the national delegates elections scheduled to take place at the Great Hall of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Story by Kofi Yeboah