The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has extended the deadline for filing of nominations for all national executive positions of the party to Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
This is to afford all aspirants adequate time to plan their activities and take part in the national exercise of the party.
The party’s acting Director of Elections, Mr Bede Ziedeng, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday, said the Functional Executive Committee (FEC), upon the advice of the Council of Elders, took the decision to extend the closure from September 5, 2018 to Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
91 aspirants so far
As of Thursday, a total of 91 out of 101 aspirants who picked nomination forms had successfully submitted their nominations at the party’s head office in Accra.
The two-week extension, according to Mr Ziedeng, was as a result of the continuous change in the dates for the party’s constituency and regional elections.
He explained that it gave aspirants limited time to plan their activities ahead of the September 5 deadline.
He said as of Wednesday noon, only 25 aspirants had reported at the party headquarters to file their nominations, a situation, he said, informed the FEC’s decision to “reasonably” defer the deadline.
“We did not receive a petition from any of the aspirants before deciding to postpone the exercise. However, turn-out for the filing of nominations was very poor as of Wednesday noon, the day of deadline. We had recorded only 25. However, later in the day, the figure shot up to 91. By that time, the decision to extend the closure had already been taken,” Mr Ziedeng said in the interview.
Four out of five aspirants for the National Chairman position have so far filed their nominations while the Vice-chairmanship recorded nine.
The party’s substantive General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and his deputy, Mr Koku Anyidoho, who were the only aspirants for the General Secretary position, have both filed their nominations.
Other positions were Deputy General Secretary,11, National Organiser, seven, Communications Officer, two, Women Organiser,four, Youth Organiser, four, and Zongo Caucus, six.
The rest were the Deputy Youth Organiser, 12, Deputy National Organiser, 0, Deputy Communications Officer, six, Deputy Women’s Organiser, six, and eight people to serve on the National Executive Committee (NEC).
Due to the extension, the scheduled dates for vetting and notice of polls will accordingly be changed. The party, Mr Ziedeng added, had therefore decided to hold its national congress in November, one month later than the scheduled date.
Mr Ziedeng further indicated that the party had made amendments to its electioneering processes.
Henceforth, he said, delegates could only elect one out of the three deputy officers in the various positions that required deputies.
“Delegates can now vote for only one person in the various categories that has deputies. After counting, the two with the highest number of votes will occupy the remaining positions. Also, we used to elect six National Vice Chairmen, but now we will be electing only three. The National Treasurer and its Deputy positions will also be by appointment and not by elections as we did in the past,” he noted.
He added that: “All former ministers of state, municipal and district executives and all Article 71 office holders are now qualified to attend congress,” a development which was disallowed in the past.
He, therefore, appealed to all members of the party to adhere to all amendments in the effort to make the upcoming congress successful.
The national officers of the party will be responsible for steering the affairs of the party in the hope to wrest power from the governing New Patriotic Party in 2020.
Although the flag bearer position of the party will be decided after November’s congress, seven persons have submitted their letters of intent and are expected to pick nomination forms when the green light is given.
Former President John Dramani Mahama, who led the party in the 2016 elections, is among six others who have declared their intention to lead the party in 2020.