Breakaway NPP Group Tells Mahama To Respect 1992 Constitution
The leadership of a breakaway New Patriotic Party (NPP) group; the United Front Party (UFP), based in the Ashanti Regional capital Kumasi, has called on Ghanaians to ignore the calls by its mother party for a broader consultation on the appointment of a new chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC).
According to Listowel Nana Kusi-Poku, Director of Communications for UFP, the 1992 Constitution is emphatic on what the President must do in the appointment of a chairman for the EC, therefore, President Mahama, must be allowed to exercise that power vested in him.
The onetime NPP member, also called on the country to celebrate by honouring the outgoing EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, for his sterling qualities and not join the NPP vilification bandwagon, simply because he twice announced the defeat of Nana Akufo-Addo, after a presidential election.
Mr. Kusi-Poku, a former broadcaster on Fox FM, a Kumasi-based radio station, who made the call in an exclusive telephone interview with The Herald yesterday, questioned whether ex-President John Agyekum Kufour, consulted any political party when he appointed four out of the seven Commissioners on the EC board, presently.
The UFP big man who is aspiring to be the UFP General Secretary, is not the only one kicking against the calls being championed by the NPP and its flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Those against the call have said during President Kufuor’s regime in which Nana Addo served as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, he appointed three Chief Justices namely; Chief Justice Kwame Wiredu, Chief Justice George Kingsley Acquah and the incumbent Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, without any consultation, but strictly adhered to the constitutional provisions.
Again, Justice Kwame Afreh, was elevated from the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court to review the unconstitutionality of the Fast Track High Court, despite huge public outcry against the padding of the court to achieve the Kufuor administration’s a political objective of convicting Tsatsu Tsikata, ex-boss of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
Some are also of the view that the 71-year old Nana Addo and the NPP, are once again setting the stage to cause mayhem, if he should lose the 2016 Presidential election for the third time.
For Mr. Kusi-Poku, the 1992 Constitution is firm on what the President must do in appointing the next Chairman of the EC and no political party must hold the President to ransom adding, “We are setting a dangerous precedent, if we allow political parties to dictate the pace for the President”.
The framers of the 1992 Constitution, would have included a broader consultation with political parties, if they deemed it fit, he explained, and posited that there should never be any broader consultation on a clear provision in the Constitution.
The UFP Communication Director, said in the near future political parties would be demanding to appoint a handful of heads of all government institutions when it is the prerogative of the President to do so.
He explained, this is a Constitutional provision that must not be usurped by any political party in the county.
Mr. Kusi-Poku, noted that the President in his capacity, has the power and knowledge to take the right decision for the betterment of the country and that it is not incumbent on any political party to dictate to the President as to what should be done on a Constitutional provision.
He unequivocally stated UFP was against the calls by some stalwarts in the NPP including, Nana Akufo-Addo for the President to consult them on a constitutionally mandated issue.
According to him, the call for a boarder consultation on the appointment of a new EC boss, smack of double standards on the part of the NPP and charged the President, to ignore the NPP.
He took the opportunity to commend Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan for his tremendous efforts in making Ghana a star in Africa.
Dr. Afari- Gyan, he observed since the inception of the commission, has administered the operations of the commission to the admiration of many in Africa, except the NPP in recent years who had made it their stock in trade to publicly denigrate the reputation of the EC boss, simply because he twice announced the defeat of Nana Addo.
He appealed to the general public not to drag the image of the commissioner in the mud, as he has saved this nation from
the claws of war in the past.
He said, since Ghana opted for democracy in 1992, Dr. Afari Gyan, has declared two elections for ex-President Jerry John Rawlings of the NDC, two for ex-President John Agyekum Kufour of the NPP, another two for NDC, led by the late Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills and then to John Dramani Mahama.
Dr Afari-Gyan, according to him, peacefully managed elections until recently, when NPP led by its twice defeated presidential candidate, Nana Addo, his running mate, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and former National Chairman, Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, went to the Supreme Court to challenge the eligibility of President Mahama.
Kweku Baako, the Editor of New Crusading Guide newspaper, has also been part of the NPP call for broader consultation and even revealed that someone might soon head to the Supreme Court to seek Constitutional interpretation on the appointment of the EC boss.
Coincidentally, Mr. Baako, was in the forefront of President Kufuor’s defense after padding the Supreme Court to achieve the objective of overturning Tsatsu Tsikata’s victory in having the Fast Track High Court declared illegal.
Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe and Lawyer Kwame Boafo Akuffo, have all kicked against the NPP insistence on consultation on the appointment, saying it is a disrespect to the 1992 Constitution. Both men are NPP diehards.