The Upper West branch of the United Cadres Front (UCF), has stated that the guidelines issued by the National Executive Committee (NEC) for the election of party officers for 2014 were in violation of the party’s Constitution.
The UCF explained that Article 50 of the constitution of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says: “where on any party matter there is no provision in the constitution which deals with the matter, NEC shall by regulation provide for that matter to be dealt with.”
A statement issued in Wa on Thursday and signed by its Chairman, Mr Ben N. Banye, the UCF said Articles 14, 16, 19, and 42 (one) of the party’s constitution had dealt with matters relating to the election of party executive officers.
The statement explained that NEC could therefore not claim that under the auspices of Article 50 of the constitution, election of the party’s executive officers was a matter no provision was made for it in the constitution.
“We do not think that the interpretation of the Article 50 of the constitution is that when a provision relating to a particular matter has become inadequate with time, NEC should independently massage it without reference to a national conference of the party,” it pointed out.
The UCF noted that it was undemocratic and a violation of the constitution if a provision in the constitution became inadequate in a time, and NEC arrogated to itself the powers to change it.
It suggested that NEC should rather arrange it and put it before a national conference of the party for consideration.
According to the UCF, Article 50 of the constitution was specific that ‘inadequacy of a provision’ and ‘no provision at all’ on a particular matter on the constitution was quite distinct.
In that regard, the Upper West UCF is calling for the guidelines to be set aside, and the election of officers conducted on the basis of the existing provisions in the constitution concerning the election of officers.
The statement said Article 42 (one) (a-e) as rightly quoted in section six (c) of NEC guidelines, the insertion of an additional clause “that a member of the party shall not qualify to vie for Regional Executive Committee, unless the member has prior to seeking elections held an executive position in the constituency,” contravenes Article 50 of the constitution.
The UCF pointed out that the Article did not empower NEC to amend articles and clauses on matters provision had been made for in the constitution.
The statement noted that the unconstitutional introduction of the additional clause was a restriction on the democratic rights of some party members.
“Enforcing it without due process is begging for apathy, descent, and disunity within the party at a time rational is telling us that we should build on our family ties.
“We hope NEC will come to reason with us or take members for a ride and put the party in shambles,” the statement warned.
The UCF said the political landscape and forces were rapidly changing, and therefore, ineffective, non-innovative and vision less leaders must give way through the ballot box, and should not be protected under the cover of restrictive guidelines.