Former Information Minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng has condemned proposals for the opposition New Patriotic Party to hold early congress, to choose a presidential candidate before electing national officers.
The National Executive Committee of the NPP is discussing the suggestion, which when endorsed will allow the party to elect a flag-bearer by December into the 2016 elections.
Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament Dominic Nitiwul told Joy News, advocates of the idea believe it will unite the party and address factionalism.
He said the bulk of the work is done at the grassroots, so the proponents are of the view that when the presidential candidate is first elected, he or she will be in position to “superintend” over the election of “competent” people to work at the grassroots level.
“Not the situation where you begin from the down and people are obviously in camps, people are looking at personality, where one would want to contest because ‘I want to help this person become the flagbearer’. When that person does not become the flagbearer then it becomes very difficult thing for the person [whose candidate lost] to work for the interest of the party.”
But Asamoah Boateng thinks the suggestion would be a wrong approach to dealing with seeming factionalism in the party.
He accuses national party executives of what he calls a “grand scheme” to seek re-election because they feel threatened.
“First of all, it is the wrong approach, the party executives must take time and not rush anybody into any decision at this level of development in our party.”
He observed, “Some of them feel threatened that they might not be elected so they should go for the flagbearer because he might be popular now and he then will find a way to get them behind him and we will be back to square one.”
Mr Asamoah Boateng is therefore warning against people allowing their egos to override the good intentions in the party.
Meanwhile, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Alidu Seidu thinks the proposal would make no difference in ensuring party unity.
He wants the party to rather focus on dealing with what he describes as personality cult, if they want to preserve internal unity.
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