The Chairman of the onvention People's Party (CPP), Dr Edmund Delle, has said the decision of the party's flagbearer for the 2000 elections to throw his weight behind President J.A. Kufuor is not a psychological blow to the party.He said Prof George Hagan's pledge at Winneba was not unexpected as he had expressed similar sentiments in the past but noted that he had been unfair to the party.
Dr Delle, who said this on Joy FM's Super Morning Breakfast Show in Accra yesterday, insisted that Professor Hagan's statement would not undermine the CPP's campaign strategies. Prof. Hagan who is the Chairman of the National Commission on Culture (NCC) declared his support for President Kufuor in a statement at this year's Aboakyer Festival in Winneba.
He said “we pray that next year by this time, President Kufuor would continue to be President of Ghana.”
Dr Delle made it clear that the party's supporters spoke loud and clear at the party's congress last year that Mr George Aggudey should be the flagbearer of the party for this year's elections.
Asked whether the decision of their ex-flagbearer would not affect the fortunes of Mr Aggudey, he said the supporters of the party have demonstrated quite clearly that Mr Aggudey is their choice and they will campaign for his victory.Dr Delle said he was not surprised at the latest development because long before the party went for congress two schools of thought had emerged.
While one wanted the party to field only parliamentary candidates the other insisted on a presidential candidate as well as parliamentary candidates.He said at the congress of the party those who supported the latter idea won, while those who favoured only parliamentary candidates lost miserably.
According to Dr Delle, the agenda being espoused by Professor Hagan now was not acceptable to the rank and file of the party and said it was his expectation that the public would not be surprised at the move by Professor Hagan.He said some of the members of the CPP who were rooting for the NPP were already working for the government.
Dr Delle explained that notwithstanding the position, once a decision was taken on the issue of flagbearer for the party, all supporters would have to campaign for him and not the flagbearer of another party.He warned that sanctions await those who will break the party's constitution, saying that the sanctions could take the form of suspension or outright dismissal.
Dr Delle, however, said that the constitution of the party was silent on whether or not any decision by a party member to accept appointment with the government was a violation of the party's constitution.He was of the opinion that individuals in the party who disagreed with the official stand of the leadership of the party should have resigned honourably.
Dr Delle said the party was yet to take a decision on leading members of the party who have allegedly breached the party's constitution and hinted that the time had come for the leadership to flex its muscles no matter who was involved.He dismissed claims that the problem of the CPP had to do with the fact that some of the leaders were egoistic saying that “the CPP is a grassroot party which gives opportunity to the ordinary people to express their views freely.”
Dr Delle said the irony of the situation now was that when Professor Hagan was elected the flagbearer, all the supporters threw their weight behind him but now that it was the turn of Mr Aggudey he had declined to do the same.
He said the attitude of some of them did not demonstrate team spirit, adding that “the strength of the party does not lie in personalities but in its organisational capacity.”Dr Delle said the claim by Mr Sekou Nkrumah, son of the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah that none of the leaders of the Nkrumaist parties could step into the shoes of his father, was an unfair comment adding that “I am very confident that Aggudey has something to offer the people in the party who voted for him and indeed all Ghanaians because he is the man to discover.”
We are not making noise, but we are working on the ground to ensure that the CPP is back in government. We shall surprise the whole world,” he said.Dr Delle said the leadership of the party has not been given any mandate to enter into an alliance with any party but explained that in the event of a run-off, the party will be prepared for negotiations.
He insisted that the CPP will win 150 seats in the next Parliament, dismissing claims that the forthcoming election was a two horse race between the NPP and the NDC saying that “it is good to ignore the CPP. If you are ignored, you have peace to work.”