Monday, August 24, 2009

NPP Electoral College Expanded

The NPP's National Delegates' Conference has approved the proposal for the expansion of the Electoral College for the selection of the party's Presidential Candidate for the 2012 general elections from2,340 delegates to about 115,000 delegates.The New Patriotic Party went to this conference to vote on a series of constitutional amendments, including the expansion of the electoral colleges to nominate party officers, parliamentary and presidential candidates.It was evidently clear that a vast majority of delegates, before the conference, were up for this proposal which would give them a much greater say in the selection of the party's flagbearer for the 2012 general elections. The amendment thus extends thefranchise for the nomination of a presidential candidate to all the 105,170 NPP polling station officers across the country. This translates into 5 delegates per polling station, on top of some 7,800 others.A majority of speakers who spoke on the article in question were for the motion. Hon. Sheikh I.C. Quaye, MP for Ayawaso Central; Hon. Beatrice Boateng, MP for New Juaben South were among the speakers who were for the expansion of the Electoral College. The mainstay of their argument was that extension of the franchise.The former MCE for Tamale, Hon. Amin Antah spoke against the expansion of the Electoral College rallying around the flag of fairness and arguing that the proposed expansion was not equitable. He also said the party did not have the resources to fund the expansion of the electoral college.The point of the anti-expansionists was that there are some big constituencies in densely populated areas that have fewer polling stations than some smaller constituencies in areas like Upper East Region, which are sparsely populated but polling stations are created more for geographical considerations than population density.The verdict from the delegates thus seeks to conclude that a greater sampling of a presidential candidate's popularity is better than a smaller sampling of that popularity. Overall, there are 21,034 polling stations in the country which translates into 105,170 polling station officers as delegates.All, but one, of the proposals presented was unanimously approved by the approved by the delegates and thus paves the way for these amendments to be incorporated into the NPP's constitution.Article 11 which sought to unanimously endorse a parliamentary candidate based on a continuous assessment of the MP's performance in Parliament by the Parliamentary leadership, in the constituency by the constituency executive committee and in the region by the regional executive committee was shot down by delegates.

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