Paul Afoko, NPP Chairman
Paul Afoko, NPP Chairman

Leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) seems to be gearing up to defend itself in court over the October 18, 2014 date fixed for its congress to elect a flagbearer.

Paul Afoko, NPP Chairman
Paul Afoko, NPP Chairman

Two of its members, Rexford Agyei Frimpong, a prot?g? of the party?s 2nd Vice Chairman, Sammy Crabbe and Oppong Kyekyeku, have filed a suit at an Accra Fast Track High Court seeking an interlocutory injunction to be placed on the upcoming congress, claiming that the time allowed for the October congress was too short.

They claimed in their writ of summons thus, ?Upon a true and proper interpretation of Article 12 A(2) of the NPP constitution, the 18th day of October 2014, fixed by the party?s National Council for the election of the party?s presidential candidate is in contravention of the said Article.? The duo are therefore seeking an order of the court that the date is ?null and void and of no legal effect.?

But sources at the party?s Asylum Down headquarters in Accra said the Professor Mike Oquaye-led Constitutional and Legal Committee was putting up a strong legal team to defend the party and its case to get the suit out of its way. The case is fixed for next Tuesday.

Council Of Elders

The Council of Elders of the NPP yesterday met with all the three aspirants ? Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and Francis Addai-Nimoh ? contesting for the October 18 flagbearership race of the party.

The meeting was at the behest of the elders after the National Chairman, Paul Afoko, was said to have referred a petition by two of the aspirants calling for an extension of time for the congress, to the Council.

Sources at the headquarters said it was to enable the Elders to receive at first hand concerns being raised by Alan and Addai- Nimoh in relation to the upcoming congress. The two aspirants have called for an extension of the campaign period.

They were said to have taken turns to appear before the Council of Elders, which has C.K. Tedam as its Chairman.

First on the bill was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh, who according to sources, went in the company of his wife.

He was followed by Alan Kyerematen, ably aided by his two lieutenants, former party General Secretary, Nana Ohene-Ntow and former Volta Regional Minister, Kofi Dzamesi.

Nana Akufo-Addo was said to be the last to appear before the Elders with one of his aides, Francis Asenso Boakye.

Even though the issue about the October 18, 2014 date for the congress came up for discussion, it is not clear how it ended except for the fact that Nana Akufo-Addo was said to have had no qualms with it ? unlike his colleagues Alan Kyerematen and Addai-Nimoh, who had misgivings about the date and had asked for more time to enable them reach out to delegates in all the 275 constituencies across the length and breadth of the country.

Mr. Addai-Nimoh had said earlier, ?We have only 48 days remaining for the main election to be conducted and we think that that period is inadequate for over 141,000 delegates to be interacted with by the aspirants in the 275 constituencies nationwide.?

According to him, the time frame made him incapable of running an effective campaign to convince delegates, insisting it was not practicable for the aspirants to get their messages to the delegates within the time allowed for campaigning.

Meanwhile, Ohene-Ntow had earlier been saying on various media platforms that Alan was the only one among the contestants who met polling station and constituency executives before the special delegates? congress that was used to shortlist the number of aspirants contesting for the position.

It has therefore surprised many as Alan?s team has also petitioned leadership of the party for an extension of the campaign period.

The National Council ? the highest decision-making body of the NPP after congress ? is expected to meet to deliberate on the issue.

Even before the Council meets to take a concrete decision on the matter, some have said they were not likely to change the date and that if anything at all, the October 18 date would be maintained.

It is expected that by the close of day today, the Council would have made its decision public to bring to an end the impasse.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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