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04.02.2009 NPP News

Gabby proposes strategy to kill 'money politics' in NPP

By myjoyonline

The executive director of political think thank Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere Darko, has added his voice to the chorus of calls on the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to 'overhaul' its constitution.

His comment follows earlier calls by NPP big wigs to amend the party's constitution, perhaps, to better the party's fortunes in future elections.

Mr Otchere Darko in an interview with Citi FM, however, introduced a new item to the proposed changes: killing the influence of money in the party.

He said a larger Electoral College system is required to completely eliminate the influence of money which seems to be defining the chances of presidential aspirants during party primaries.

“What it means is that money will not be the determining factor but money certainly would influence how effective your campaign will be but not to the extent to actually turn the minds of delegates,” he said.

At the last delegates' congress of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, flag-bearer of the party in the just ended elections was one of 17 candidates who filed their nominations to lead the party into the elections.

With none of the 17 able to secure the required 50% plus one vote, Nana Addo was chosen by acclamation.

The decision of who represented the party was made by some 2000 delegates from the various electoral regions of the party.

Mr Otchere Darko said the number was too small and could easily be influenced by a candidate, thus the need for a larger pool of voters to select the flag-bearer.

Meanwhile another king pin and former presidential aspirant of the NPP, Osafo Marfo, is proposing that the constitution of the party be amended to allow a maximum of four candidates to file for the flag-bearership.

He said the party sent the “wrong signal” to Ghanaians when it fielded such a huge band of presidential hopefuls at its last congress.

It is not clear when and whether these proposals will reflect in the constitution of the NPP, but experts say the details could streamline the party's internal democracy better.

Story by Fiifi Koomson