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04.05.2009 NPP News

Over 300, 000 delegates to vote in NPP congress

By The Statesman
Over 300, 000 delegates to vote in NPP congress
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When the New Patriotic Party goes to its next National Conference, most likely this month, some proposals for change are expected to be tabled by the leadership of the party aimed at radically reforming aspects of the party's activities.

The area to receive the most attention would be on the structures and the manner in which its leaders and representatives are selected.

But the greatest news is that over 300, 000 delegates will be picking the NPP's f1agbearer, a rise in the original figure of about 14, 000 per cent against the previous figure of 2, 300, if the proposed reforms are accepted by delegates.

It is the most radical reform in the history of any political party in this country with the ultimate vision of getting ordinary people to own a political party and deciding on its fortunes, without undue influence from any quarters or interest groups, according to information reaching The Statesman.

According to paper, several other proposals have been worked on - all aimed at ensuring that the structures at every level of the party is viable in fund raising as well as voter mobilisation. Consequently, if the National Executive Committee and the National Council endorse the proposals, which have widely been discussed over the whole of last week, indications are that the NPP will establish a credential as the most solid and resilient party in the country - ready and prepared in every way to deliver.

Delivery at the 2012 elections is believed to be the reason for the brainstorming by the leadership of the NPP on the varied proposals tabled last week.

The new, radical and tough decision is against the rather liberal philosophy that underpinned arrangements at previous Congresses. That radical transformation being introduced into the party to be ratified at the next Conference is expected to culminate not only in empowering the party at the grass roots organizationally, but also strengthening the party's financial base to position it anytime for grass roots campaign activities.

Though information on the nature and details of the reforms are sketchy, included also in the wider reforms agenda, as proposed by some party members and the current leadership of the NPP, is the decision to encourage membership drive through subscription, which is considered the only legal basis for one's membership and power as a delegate. The other radical change could be in the area of the number of people who would vote at a national delegates' congress.

Information reaching The Statesman indicates that, out of several proposals considered at a marathon meeting held by the NPP leadership last week, it was agreed in principle that the Electoral College be expanded, with the one-member-vote option receiving serious attention for application in ultimately picking MPs, Flag-bearers, constituency and regional executives. Despite the logistical nightmare - an estimated one million voters would be involved - the proposal is receiving a measure of support, especially from the overseas branches.

At least half a dozen proposals have also been considered. Another proposal projects an electoral college made up of over 300,000 delegates comprising of opinion leaders or patrons in constituencies, who are not necessarily foot soldiers or constituency executive members and polling station chairmen, as opposed to the little over 2,300 delegates currently in operation.

At the National Executive Council level, proposals for having more Deputies assist frontline NEC officials were also high on the agenda for consideration - to ensure that there were no loopholes in strategy or cases of negligence that must await another Congress before redressing.

In that regard, three National Deputies were considered healthy for each of the positions of National Chairman, General Secretary, National Organizer, National Women's Leader as well as National Youth Leader and Treasurer.

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