NPP Hits Hard At Pianim
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has officially reacted by to comments by Kwame Pianim that the party should have accepted the December 7 & 8, 2012 general elections as it was and not go to court to seek any redress.
Africawatch magazine in its latest edition reported Mr. Pianim an economist and a member of the party as saying that recent decisions by the party's leadership including the boycott of the inauguration of President John Dramani Mahama showed that the leaders were confused.
He was also quoted as saying that the NPP was making a 'fuss' about the court case and thought the party is 'losing the opportunity to really do a proper review of our performance, which is important for the future success of our party.”
However, the NPP has not taken kindly to the purported comments by Mr. Pianim saying he should acquaint himself with the evidence available in the petition before making statements that would not benefit the party.
A statement issued in Accra and signed by Nana Akomea, NPP's Communications Director, said “The NPP takes notice of the sentiments about the party expressed by Kwame Pianim in Africawatch magazine, which report has also been circulating in the local media.”
The statement said the NPP had always accepted results of all elections including the 2008 results which as an incumbent government it lost by the “narrowest of margins.”
“The party, however, disagrees with the results of the 2012 elections. As the law requires, we have submitted the basis of our disagreement in the form of a petition to the Supreme Court of Ghana.”
The Court Case
Explaining how the case landed in court, the NPP Communications Director said it was the collective decision of the party's leadership to challenge the declaration of the results and as the law required, the people who qualified were the ones who initiated the action.
“The petition before the Supreme Court is in the names of three individuals, including the Chairman of the NPP, because the rules governing petitions of this sort provide that the petitioners should be individual citizens.”
“These three individuals are therefore acting in the name of the party. It should be trite knowledge that the vast numbers of the rank and file of the party fully support this action. Indeed it will amount to gross negligence and betrayal, if NPP leadership took no action in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the illegalities and malpractices that attended the conduct of the 2012 general elections.”
Akufo-Addo as Leader
Nana Akomea rubbished claim by Mr. Pianim that Nana Akufo-Addo is holding himself as leader of the party when he should not be saying “Nana Akufo-Addo, after December 9, 2012, has not held himself out as the leader of the NPP.
Every official meeting of the party at the national level has been chaired by the National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.”
Boycott of Presidential Inauguration
On the party's boycott of the Presidential inauguration, the director said it was not “the decision of just the National Executives, but one taken by a full meeting of the National Council, which is the second highest decision making body of the party.”
“The national council is composed of the entire membership of the national executive committee, council of elders, founding members, ex- presidents, ex- vice presidents, ex- national chairmen, ex general secretaries, flagbearers, parliamentary leadership, 20 members of parliament, all regional chairmen, heads of the various directorates etc.
The party's protest against the election results is not limited to the Supreme Court. The protest extends to other non violent, peaceful activities such as specific parliamentary boycotts,” he explained.
“Mr. Pianim may find disagreeable some people who speak for the party. If Mr. Pianim describes others as self appointed spokespersons, how will he describe himself as he also appears to be speaking on behalf of the NPP?” he asked in reaction to Mr. Pianim's criticism of some of the party's spokespersons.
Nana Akomea said that “the NPP is not making a fuss about the court case. The court case is based on the most solid, in our view, of evidence. It does not seem that Mr. Pianim has availed himself of the details of this evidence.”
On the party being a 'family stool' as Mr. Pianim alleged, Nana Akomea again said “The NPP has had various branding but no branding of the party can give anyone the impression that the party is a family stool to be inherited.”
“It is trite knowledge that positions in the NPP are always keenly contested for. Indeed the NPP is the only political party in Ghana where over 100,000 people go to the polls to elect a flagbearer.
One cannot help but remember the conduct of Mr. Pianim in 1996, when Mr. Pianim's eligibility to contest NPP flagbearership elections was challenged in court.”
“Mr. Pianim sought to hold the party to ransom by attempting to subject the party's congress to his fortunes in the court case. It is that kind of behaviour that suggests that one views positions in the party as inheritances,” he continued.
“Mr. Pianim calls for a rebuilding of the party. It is our humble view that the court challenge is a major part of rebuilding the party.
Indeed the court case seeks to restore the greatest integrity in our electoral system. Hence it goes to the heart of Ghanaian democracy itself.”
“We ask elders like Mr. Pianim to be part of the spirit of the party at this time by supporting the tremendous effort the party is making in court not only for itself but for Democracy in Ghana.”