Northern NDC youth boycott guidelines for regional executive elections

The Coalition of Concerned National Democratic Congress Youth in the Northern region has kicked against attempts by the party’s NEC to deny members who are seeking various leadership positions for the first time.

It said both the National Executive Committee and the Regional Executives met on Saturday to issue guidelines for the election of party executives in the region.

The guidelines stated among other things that “a member of the party shall not qualify to vie for Regional Executive position unless the member, prior to seeking election, has held an executive position in the constituency.”

Addressing a press conference in Tamale, Spokesperson for the group, Mohammed Suhunun said they found the move to give special allocation to members already holding executive positions in the party as very “disturbing and unfortunate”.

In Chapter 8 of Article 42 (1f) of the party’s constitution, Suhunun said, it was only applicable to members seeking national executive positions, expressing dissatisfaction with the manner in which the NEC was trying to extend it to constituency and regional elections.

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He said they suspected the Northern regional executives and the NEC may be relying on Article 50 of the party’s constitution, which gave powers to the NEC to decide on any party matter.

He added that where there was no provision in the constitution dealing with such a matter, a decision they say is “tantamount to amending the party (NDC’s) 2010 constitution”.

He noted this could only be done at the national delegates’ conference as stipulated by the constitution.

The group therefore demanded the NEC to immediately withdraw the clause from its election’s guidelines for regional party officers.

This, he indicated, would pave way for fair and equal playing field for members seeking regional executive positions.

Party General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, is said to have explained the decision by the NEC to a Tamale-based local radio station.

Mr. Nketiah said the new arrangement has been to ensure that “experienced members of the party become regional executive officers and allow the inexperienced members to contest at both the branch and constituency levels.”

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The General Secretary, according to Suhunun, admitted in that same interview that much of the party’s organizations and works were at the branch and constituency levels as compared to the regional level.

“So the simple question we are asking NEC is that why not rather encourage the so-called experienced members to contest at both the branch and constituency levels since much of the work is done there?” he asked.

The group has therefore given the National Executive Committee a three-day ultimatum to immediately withdraw what it described as an alien clause or face their wrath.