The John Mahama campaign team is protesting a decision by the party’s Council of Elders to meet the aggrieved flagbearer aspirants without his presence of his representatives.
That notwithstanding, the team says it accepts the decisions taken by the Council which include the slashing of the filing fees by a ¢100,000.
In a statement issued and signed by the spokesperson of the John Mahama campaign team, the ex-president said the impending presidential primary should be seen “as a contest among individuals desirous of leading the NDC in the 2020 elections and not as one between a group of persons against a particular candidate.”
At least eight flagbearer aspirants protested the ¢400,000 filing fees the National Executive Council.
The eight, including former Trades Minister Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Nurideen Iddrisu, Second Deputy Speaker Alban Bagbin all signed a petition which they sent to the council of Elders of the party asking them to intervene.
Among the issues they raised were a call for the reduction of filing fees, extension of the nomination and campaign periods.
The ex-president was not a party to the petition. He had, through the Asawase Constituency executives, picked forms without raising issues about the price.
Fortunately for the aggrieved aspirants, the Council of Elders intervened and asked for a reduction in the filing fees. They also advised for the extension of the period for nomination and election day.
The eight aggrieved aspirants some of whom have since pulled out of the race went to meet the Council of elders ostensibly to thank them for their intervention.
The ex-president was unhappy he was not represented in the meeting.
“Whilst acknowledging the prerogative of the Council of Elders to meet with only the aspirant petitioners, it is our humble view that the said meeting could have included all other aspirants or their representatives, especially as the matters in issue border on the interest of all concerned,” the statement said.
The following is the full details of the statement;
PRESS STATEMENT REACTION TO NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON FLAGBEARERSHIP ELECTION
The John Mahama Campaign has taken note of a meeting held between some aspirant petitioners and a sub-committee of the Council of Elders of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in respect of guidelines for the impending flagbearership elections.
Whilst acknowledging the prerogative of the Council of Elders to meet with only the aspirant petitioners, it is our humble view that the said meeting could have included all other aspirants or their representatives, especially as the matters in issue border on the interest of all concerned.
The impending flagbearership election should be seen as a contest among individuals desirous of leading the NDC in the 2020 elections and not as one between a group of persons against a particular candidate.
The John Mahama 2020 campaign notes that the various aspirants earnestly began their campaigns in September 2018, following submission of letters of intent by the respective aspirants. Indeed, media content is replete with stories of the campaign activities of the various aspirants from all over the country. All aspirants have had unimpeded access to delegates across the length and breadth of the country and it is fair to say there is a level playing field.
As regards the concern that the Christmas festivities may interfere in campaign activities, we wish to note that in both 2000 and 2008, Ghana held presidential run off elections in the Yuletide season.
It is our humble view that the party has been so pre-occupied with internal elections that it has had very little time to focus on the full extent of the misgovernance of the Akufo-Addo administration. Therefore, the completion of the internal electoral processes would provide party leadership space and time to begin the process of formulating comprehensive strategies towards our collective victory in 2020.
We believe that we have the most marketed candidate in John Dramani Mahama. But in the most unlikely event of a different flagbearer emerging, a longer campaign period would inure to the benefit of that person. We have to be mindful of the 2019 timetable announced by the Electoral Commission and the need to ensure that the party provides ample space to participate in those activities.
In this regard, the John Mahama campaign acknowledges the changes in the guidelines, including the review of the date and reduction of filing fees announced by the Functional
Executive Committee (FEC), following consultation with the Council of Elders. We understand that the important consideration by National Executive Committee (NEC) that should there be a need for a run off after the 26th January 2019 elections, there should be ample time for it to take place before the expiration of the 7th March 2019 constitutional deadline.
The John Mahama campaign shares the view that the party needs to embark on new initiatives to raise funds for party activities in the medium to long-term. In the immediate instance, we appreciate the financial challenges of the National Executive Committee conducting the presidential primaries, which per the NDC’s constitution is time-bound. Fulfilling our obligations as per the guidelines is in our view an aspect of fundraising for the successful conduct of the impending presidential primaries. Indeed the John Mahama Campaign similarly honoured its obligations in helping to raise funds to ensure the success of the recent national delegates Congress in Accra.
The John Mahama Campaign will continue to fully cooperate with the FEC, NEC and the Council of Elders to ensure that the larger interest of the party remains supreme at all times. **END**
FRIDAY, 7TH DECEMBER 2018 ACCRA