Deeper Cracks Emerge In NPP


Ex-President Kufuor & Philip Addison Against Girls-Girls Clause; But Ursula Owusu Wants It

New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma West Constituency, Ursula Owusu, has accused the party’s communications team of “deliberating” working to “sabotage and undermine the proper implementation” of the recently announced affirmative action order.

Ex-President John Kufuor, is also mentioned to have already disagreed with the directive, even before he and others in the National Executive Council are consulted to make their views on the fiat known sometime, this week.

Close associates of Mr. Kufuor, told The Herald that he was of the view that the directives pushed by the NPP flagbearer, was disastrous to the unity of the party.

Lead Counsel for the main opposition NPP in the 2012 election petition case, Philip Addison, has described as “discriminatory” the affirmative action fiat issued by the executive committee of the party.

Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that the fiat was passed as a result of promises Nana Akufo-Addo made to the NPP MPs, when he met them days to the Presidential Primaries of his party, last year.

He is said to have promised keeping them in Parliament, should they retain him as the flagbearer for the 2016 Presidential election.

Others have also said that there could be massive court actions by aggrieved NPP members to have the directives reversed.

Political watchers, have also said the directives create room for many members of the party to want to contest the 2016 parliamentary elections as independent candidates.

Already, supporters of Maxwell Kofi Jumah, have announced their intension to push him to oust Madam Patricia-Appiagye from Parliament as Independent parliamentary candidates.

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the NPP last Monday, announced that none of its 16 incumbent female MPs, should be contested by men in the primaries scheduled for May 24 this year.

All coaster communities in the Greater Accra Region, are supposed to see only indigenous Gas becoming MPs on the ticket of the NPP.
Other directives from the NEC was the all prospective Parliamentary aspirants are to pay a whopping GH¢30,000 as filing fee and something vaguely described as Development Fee.

But of all three, keeping the 16 female MPs in Parliament, have been the most condemned directive. Indeed, it has incited agitations among party members, who called it “unfair, discriminatory and illegal”.

Hundreds of NPP supporters since Tuesday, have been storming the national headquarters of the party to demonstrate against the fiat and subsequently registered their displeasure on other media platforms.

In an exclusive interview with Accra-based Starr FM, Ursula Owusu, who is one of the beneficiaries of the directive, said the directive had been “botched” ahead of its communication.

“We dropped this bombshell on the party without any preparations. We dropped this bombshell on the party and did not manage the communications around it properly. The communications committee was mandated by NEC to go out there and explain why the party had introduced this far reaching policy.

“They botched it. In fact they even spread more confusion when the director of the committee put it out there that oh, it is just a proposal being considered by NEC, it hadn’t been adopted, a blatant untruth”.

The Ablekuma West MP, however, expressed concern over the fate of the party, given the current posturing of the communications team, whom she believes might not have the party’s best interest at heart.

“Despite our personal feeling against the decisions of those who gave us the work to do, as professionals, you put your personal feelings aside and you do the work that you’ve been mandated to do. It’s not about you.

“So maybe they deliberately did it to undermine the proper implementation of this policy and if that is the case and they are still managing the communication of the party and they do not like a policy that is introduced by the campaign, is that the same way that they are going to be, we ought to be scared,” she added.

She, however, believes the current situation can be salvaged.

“…If we put our foot down and manage the fallout… Everybody expected that there would be an opposition to it. We would have been naive if we hadn’t thought that there would be opposition to it”.

But Lawyer Philip Addison, has observed that although the intention behind the idea was modest, it appears unfair to some prospective parliamentary candidates.

“I think the idea behind it is laudable, but I am not too sure if it is Constitutional, because it looks discriminatory,” the now famous lawyer told TV3 in an interview.

A deputy Communications Director of the party, has also described the pro- feminine directives issued by the party’s NEC in the upcoming internal parliamentary primaries as ‘an insult to females’.

Yaw Adomako Baafi, insists female NPP parliamentarians are already capable of contesting males and beating them in any elections, so there is no need for any affirmative action on their behalf.
On Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem last Friday, he stated that his party’s Constitution, does not state that women should be shielded from competition from men.

“The NPP women we have in parliament are already capable and they can easily beat men they come into contact with during elections, so if you tell me that you are setting a directive that will seek to prevent men from contesting them, then you are telling our dear women that they are no longer capable of facing men,” he stressed.

“Our current female MPs, have their own self acquired qualifications which allows them to do whatever they want to do. The best NEC could have done was to lobby, because I think it is an insult to females. How do you expect them not to be contested by males?

“Are they also going to prevent our rivals and I mean NDC male candidates from contesting them when we go for the general elections in 2016. I respect them very much, so they should rescind their decision.”

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