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General News | May 30, 2004

PNC Delegates infuriated over time consuming protocols

GNA

Accra, May 30, GNA - The People's National Convention (PNC) National Delegates Congress was characterized by threats from delegates to abandon the congress as it dragged slowly with time consuming protocols. It begun with a mini demonstration by a group of women who at 22.00 hours on Saturday night cried foul at why voting had not begun, although the program outline for the day stated that the voting was going to start at 20.30 hours.

The women stood up and decided to walk out of the Trade Fair Pavilion E venue of the congress, attracting the attention of party leaders, especially Mr. "Chuck" Kofi Wayo, a presidential aspirant who shared the sentiments of the women and invited Dr. Edward Mahama to join him to resolve the situation.

Visibly tired and reluctant Dr. Mahama refused to approach the women, but sent word to them to calm down and be patient for the congress to be over, whilst Mr. Wayo tried to calm down other groups of delegates who were shouting, "we will abandon the congress".

The plenary session, which was supposed to end at 18.30 hours for the presidential aspirant to deliver their campaign speeches for the start of the elections, was characterized by fierce debates and long speeches and therefore had to drag on till 22.00 hours, after which a 15 minutes break was granted for the Electoral Commission to set up their equipment for the election.

The EC officials took more than the granted 15 minutes and that infuriated delegates the more and some walked out, resulting in only 888 votes out or 1,092 votes expected to be cast during the election. The EC officials themselves had their own share of the odds at the congress as they complained of having been at the congress venue since morning but adequate provision was not made for their comfort. Journalists were not spared either, as most of them slept their heads off waiting for the final show down, the election of the flag-bearer. On the lighter note, earlier the congress had taken off with one of Ghana's popular gospel tunes sung by Elder Collins Amponsah, titled "Something new".

The popular lines of the song, "yesterday is gone another day has come, do something new in my life o Lord" was converted in to a customized version by a member of the party thus: "NDC is gone, NPP has come, still there is no change in our lives, we need a change in our lives, we need a change in Ghana O Lord".

Talking about songs, the recent gospel music hit tune "Me hore so", By prophet Seth Frempong, was also played at the tail end of the congress, despite recent newspaper announcement that the rights to that song had been bought by an individual who owned exclusive rights to it and had warned that no political party was allowed to use the song for political purposes.

When it came to introducing the presidential aspirants, the way the master of ceremonies went about it left much to be desired as he introduced Mr. Wayo as "the Nima boy, the zongo boy and the American boy" without mentioning any achievements of his, but went all out to talk at length about the achievements of Dr. Edward Mahama as a medical doctor, leader and two times flag-bearer of the PNC among others. There were cultural dances, a circus display by a cyclist as well as singing and dancing by supporters of the two presidential aspirants, which made the whole congress venue quite noisy, but on the whole delegates and supporters comported themselves in a very orderly manner.

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