The National Democratic Congress (NDC) National Executive Committee on Monday announced fees for candidates to contest its July election to choose a flag bearer saying male contestants would pay GH¢ 20,000 while female contestants would pay GH¢ 10,000.
“The NDC National Executive Committee has approved a non-refundable fee of GH¢ 20,000 to be paid by male flag bearer aspirants whilst in line with the party’s social democratic gender sensitive credentials, has offered a 50 per cent rebate to all female aspirants,” Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, NDC General Secretary stated at a press conference in Accra.
“We hope this will encourage more women to participate in the democratic process and assume a more responsible role in the party and the country at large,” he said.
The press conference focusing on the “NDC Guidelines and Time Table for Internal Party Elections,” was used to officially proclaim that “the campaign for the election of the NDC flag bearer for Elections 2012 is open”.
The party’s time table for the July 8-10 National Delegates’ Congress slated for Sunyani is as follows: Opening of nomination May 3; closing of nomination May 10; submission of nomination June 1; vetting of candidates June 7 and 8; and release of delegates’ list to candidates June 10.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah, flanked by leading members of the party, including National Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, Mr Enoch T. Mensah, said each contestant shall be proposed by two persons and seconded by four persons who must be members of the executive at the branch, constituency, regional or national levels.
“A duly proposed contestant shall be endorsed by two members of the executive at any level of the party from each of the 230 Constituencies of the country,” he emphasised.
On the qualification of flag bearer aspirants, the NDC General Secretary explained that the aspirant must fulfil qualification criteria as stated in Article 62 of the 1992 Constitution which deals with the qualifications to be president of Ghana.
In addition, the aspirant must be a member of a branch of the party, a known and active member of the party for not less than four years, shall be a member of any other political party, and must accept the constitution, philosophy and policies of the NDC.
Others are that the aspirant must be an active and card bearing member of the party with fully paid up membership dues, must not be facing any disciplinary action for breach of the party’s Disciplinary Code and Constitution, and must not be a member of the executive committee at any level of the party at the time of picking of nomination form.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah noted that according to Article 44(a) of the Party’s Constitution, the NDC was required to elect its flag bearer at least 12 months when in government and at least 24 months when outside government before any presidential election the party intends to participate in.
“According to the 1992 Constitution, the next presidential election is slated for the first week of December 2012. Since the NDC is in government now, the party therefore has up to the first week in December 2011 to elect its flag bearer.
“It is against this background that we are going to begin the process towards election of our flag bearer early enough to abide by our own party Constitution,” the NDC General Secretary stated.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah assured the party that the Council of Elders and its National Executive Committee had endorsed the guidelines, regulations and timetable to ensure the provision of even playing field for all candidates.