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05.05.2009 NPP News

Osafo Maafo supports NPP`s proposal

By Bismark Bebli - Ghanaian Chronicle
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A LEADING member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Yaw Osafo Maafo, has strongly defended the proposal to allow only three candidates to contest the party's presidential primary. He has also endorsed the suggestion that 300,000 delegates should be given the chance to elect the presidential candidate.

He argued that the short-listing of three candidates after vetting would help minimise the rancour, division and, above all, create a very good image of the party.

He noted that the 17 candidates that were allowed to contest the primary in 2007, brought disunity, which must not be repeated.

Speaking in an interview with this reporter yesterday, Mr. Osafo Maafo, who is also a member of the National Executive Committee and a former Finance Minister, noted that looking at the way the party was questioned for allowing such a large number of candidates, there was the need for the party delegates to endorse the proposal when it is finally tabled before congress.

“There is no country in the world that has not got a sieving mechanism. When this is done, it would bring us closer in smaller groups. Should there be any division, at worst, it would be only three which can easily be resolved,” he said.

The former Finance Minister contended that since the basic aim of an election was to win power, the party ought to put good mechanisms in place to ensure that a good product was produced at the end of the day.

Mr. Osafo Maafo, former Akim-Oda legislator who earned the name 'Oseadieyo Oyadieyee' when he led the national team to qualify for the World Cup during his tenure as the Minister of Sports, averred that since the NPP had been in opposition for eight years, and in power for another eight years within the 1992 constitution, it was only fair for the party to take stock and correct the wrongs.

“It is fair for us to take stock and review our constitution with a view of improving upon it and correct the wrongs.”

On the Electoral College, the former Member of Parliament (MP) said it creates a platform for all the party members to have a say in the election of the flagbearer, the national executives, regional, constituency and all level of elections.

He said with a proposal of 300,000 delegates, the influence of money would be minimal.

“This process is going to give rights to people to participate in the election process of all the leaders from the top to the bottom.”

Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, a former Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, also supported the idea, when he was contacted, saying it would allow the supporters to own the party.

According to him, one member, one vote, was much easier for the party.

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