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27.02.2009 NDC News

Constitutional crisis hit NDC

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE CHRONICLE can report that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is now faced with constitutional crisis following the elevation of seven executives of the party to serve in various Ministerial portfolios.

Currently, the party is grappling with how to resolve this nagging issue since the key players have been asked to help President Mills to achieve his dream of building a better Ghana.

The NDC did not envisage the situation where some top executives of the party would be asked to serve in the government of the day, hence they did not provide solutions in their constitution, to avert the situation.

According to some members of the party, the vacuum created could affect the smooth running of the party and they have therefore called for moves to correct the situation. Some members of the NDC are now calling for an emergency congress to decide on how to fill the vacant party positions, while another school of thought contends that interim executives should be made to stand in until substantive executives are elected.

An argument was also advanced that at a point in time, Hon. E.T Mensah, who was the then Minister of Youth and Sports served in a dual capacity as the National Youth Organizer.

President John Evans Atta Mills has appointed seven of the party's Executives as Ministers in his government. The appointees are Ms. Hannah Tetteh, the party's Communications Director and now the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mad. Ama Benyiwa-Doe, the National Women's Organizer, who is now Central Regional Minister, Hon. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the National Organizer, now the Eastern Regional Minister and Hon. Haruna Iddrisu, the National Youth Organizer who has also assumed a new role as Minister of Communications.

The latest deputy Ministerial list has also named Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations as Deputy Minister for Local government and Rural development designate, Mr. Baba Jamal, the Deputy Secretary in charge of Administration and Finance as Deputy Eastern Regional Minister designate, Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, the party's National Propaganda Secretary as one of the Deputy Ministers of Finance designate.

Meanwhile, the Deputy National Secretary of the party, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has said that the issue affecting the party does not create a constitutional crisis, but rather a constitutional lacuna.

The NDC top man, who is currently a Lecturer at the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) confirmed that party members were advocating for a solution to the hiatus that has been created, or to provide a platform for the new Ministers to relinquish their positions in the party for equally competent persons to step in their shoes.

According to him, it was not the intention of any executive member to monopolize the party leadership. “Our constitution is not clear on that matter but we don't want a situation where a few people would monopolize the party.”

Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah, who effectively combined his teaching job at IPS with his duties at the party, said they are also waiting upon the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to come out with their decision on the matter, saying “Whatever decision that the NEC comes out with, we shall abide by it.”