• Thursday, April 19, 2018

National Democratic Congress Nullifies Some Branch Elections in Greater Accra

The Greater Accra Regional Secretariat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has nullified results of all branch elections that did not follow the laid procedures given by the national leadership.

The NDC party over the weekend started their branch elections across the country in its quest to restructure the party to wrestle power from the ruling party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2020 general elections.

According to a statement signed by the Regional Secretary, Victor Abdul-Satarh Quarshie Adonoo to the various Constituencies in the Greater Accra Region explained that, “all elections conducted from Saturday 14th April up to Tuesday 17th April, 2018 have been cancelled.”

Indicating that, all constituencies are to follow the laid down procedures approved by the national leadership and was communicated to all constituencies.

Mr. Quarshie Adonoo therefore stressed that; the party will not tolerate any breach of these procedures for the conducting of any branch elections within the Greater Accra Region.

According to the statement, registration booklets must be made available to the branch leadership prior to the elections and time table to indicate the date, time and venue of the elections should be made available to the branch at least four days to the elections.

Furthermore, Nomination forms it said must be made available to the branches and nominees given at least 48 hours, that is two days to file nominations prior to the elections when forms are issued.

The Regional Secretary, Victor Abdul-Satarh Quarshie Adonoo emphasized that, elected branch executives are to be sworn-in after signing the biodata forms at the branch meeting where the election is held.

Stressing that, only registered members in good standing are eligible to vote and elect branch executives.

Meanwhile the statement said, elections at branches with less than 20 members are suspended adding that, “by this statement, the Greater Accra Regional Secretariat wishes to announce that any constituency who flouts these directives shall have their branch election results nullified”.




Source:Ishmael Barfi/wisetvonline.com

Sierra Leone election: Julius Maada Bio fast-tracks presidential oath in a hotel

Sierra Leone’s opposition candidate, Julius Maada Bio, has rushed to take his presidential oath in a hotel after winning the run-off election.

Mr Maada Bio is a former military ruler who briefly ruled the country in 1996.

He narrowly beat ruling party candidate Samura Kamara, who has alleged irregularities and says he will challenge the outcome in court.

Mr Maada Bio was sworn in on Wednesday, less than two hours after being declared the winner of Saturday’s vote.

Under Sierra Leone’s constitution, the presidential vote winner must be sworn in on the same day as he is declared the victor.

“[This is] the dawn of a new era,” he said. “The people of this great nation have voted to take a new direction.”

In a televised address, Mr Kamara said: “We dispute the results and we will take legal action to correct them.” He also urged his supporters to stay calm.

Mr Maada Bio, leader of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), won just under 52% of the vote.

He has already ruled the country, albeit briefly.

Mr Maada Bio, now 53, was part of a group of soldiers who overthrew the government in 1992 when he was in his late 20s.

Then, in January 1996, he staged a palace coup, arguing that his boss, Capt Valentine Strasser, wanted to renege on the promised handover to an elected civilian government.

His supporters point to that to call him the “father of democracy”.

But his critics cite human rights violations witnessed while he was in power, for which he has taken “collective responsibility”.

During his rule, which lasted just over two months, he appointed Mr Kamara as his finance minister.Sierra Leone's outgoing President Ernest Bai Koroma (R) gives a speech during a campaign rally for Samura Kamara (L) on 5 March 2018

The outgoing president, Ernest Bai Koroma, has stepped aside after serving two five-year terms for the All People’s Congress (APC). He had hand-picked Mr Kamara as his preferred successor.

Mr Maada Bio lost to Mr Komora in the previous election.

Support for the SLPP and the APC is largely based on ethnicity. The SLPP, the nation’s oldest party, is most popular in the southern and eastern parts of the country.

Julius Maada Bio was sworn in rather strangely on Wednesday night – at a hotel instead of State House, and less than two hours after he was declared president-elect.

Sierra Leone has what many consider a defective transition arrangement. The constitution says the winner of a presidential election must be sworn in “on the same day” he is declared the winner. To have sworn him after midnight could have triggered a constitutional challenge, after a sometimes acrimonious campaign.

Many believe Julius Maada Bio is the most popular of the candidates who ran for the presidency. But his eventual win was a combination of that popularity and former President Ernest Bai Koroma stepping on many toes.

His administration’s response to the Ebola and mudslide crises amid allegations of corruption angered many in the capital, Freetown.

On top of this, even with the country’s deep-rooted ethnic politics, tribalism came to the fore more prominently than ever before. Many members of Mr Maada Bio’s Mende ethnic group – one of the country’s largest – almost worship him.

With a narrow outcome, the new president has vowed to heal the divisions, and rebuild the country’s broken educational system. He has a tough job ahead of him, made harder by the fact that his party does not have a majority in parliament.

Sierra Leone is one of the world’s poorest countries, with a fragile economy and widespread corruption.

It suffered heavily during a devastating Ebola outbreak in 2014. The disease killed nearly 4,000 people yet there are still only 200 doctors serving the country of seven million people.

The country also went through a brutal civil war between 1991 and 2002, which killed more than 50,000 people.

Mr Maada Bio has promised to heal the country’s divisions and rebuild the country’s broken education system.

Mr Maada Bio received 43.3% of the vote in the first round, falling short of the 55% needed for an outright win.

The run-off was delayed by the High Court after a member of the ruling APC party alleged there had been electoral fraud during the first vote.

However, the court rejected a petition by the APC seeking an indefinite suspension of the election to allow for a forensic audit of the original 7 March vote.

After the second round, Mr Kamara said the APC still had “many concerns” about the legitimacy of the results.






Past and present heroes whose contributions and support have enhanced the cause of the New Patriotic Party (N.P.P) in the Abetifi Constituency have been acknowledged and honoured by their Member of Parliament, District Chief Executive (DCE) and the executive body of the party.

This according to the MP for the constituency Mr. Bryan Acheampong who doubles as a Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of National Security and the DCE, Mr. Isaac Agyapong is to rekindle patriotism among the party’s patriots in accordance with the words of Abraham Lincoln that says “a country that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for”.

The Award ceremony was graced by His Excellency, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as the Special Guest of Honour and was categorized into four segments namely; the President’s Award, the National Award, the Regional Chairman Award and the Member of Parliament Award. This is the first of its kind in the country and is to serve as a motivation for the youth in the party.

Delivering his speech at the Awards night, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo commended the Member of Parliament for Abetifi Constituency, Chiefs in the Kwahu Traditional Area and the entire Kwahuman for their support and warm reception anytime he celebrated Easter with them.

Explaining that the reception given him makes him feel like an indigene of Kwahu and assured Kwahuman and all Ghanaians of his willingness to deliver on his promises made during the 2016 general elections. “Keep believing in President Akufo Addo and his administration”, he acknowledged.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Abetifi, Mr. Bryan Acheampong indicated that, he, together with the DCE and the party executives will ensure that the Abetifi Constituency contributes to the course of party by making the constituency one of the party’s strong hold in the country. Saying, the award has come to stay to honour hardworking patriots as well as serve as a motivation to others.

The award ceremony was attended by the the Regional Minister, Chiefs of Kwahu Traditional Area, past and present Ministers, DCE’s, Members of Parliament and party officials.




Source:Emmanuel Odei /Wisetvonline com

Sierra Leone votes in run-off between Maada Bio and Kamara

Voters in Sierra Leone are choosing their new president in a run-off poll which pits a coup leader against the president’s hand-picked successor.

The vote was delayed after an allegation of electoral fraud in the first round earlier this month.

Former military coup leader Julius Maada Bio received the most votes in the first round.

He now faces ruling party candidate Samura Kamara who is an economist by training.

Mr Maada Bio received 43.3% of the vote in the first round.

But in Sierra Leone the president is elected by absolute majority and if no-one gets 55% then it goes to a run-off.

President Ernest Bai Koroma is stepping down as president after serving two five-year terms. He chose Mr Kamara as his successor to run as president for the All People’s Congress (APC).

Mr Maada Bio, who is leading the main opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), lost to Mr Koroma in the last election. But Mr Maada Bio had already ruled the country briefly.

The 53-year-old was part of a group of soldiers who overthrew the government in 1992. Four years later he staged another coup and ruled Sierra Leone between January and March 1996.

Whoever wins this time, one of the greatest challenges for the new leader will be to improve healthcare following the devastating Ebola outbreak in 2014.

It killed nearly 4,000 people yet there are still only 200 doctors serving the country of seven million people.

The run-off was originally due to take place on Tuesday but the High Court ordered a delay after a member of the ruling party alleged there had been electoral fraud in the first round.

But the court rejected a petition by the ruling APC seeking an indefinite suspension of the run-off to allow for a forensic audit of the 7 March vote.




Police arrest Koku Anyidoho over coup comments

The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Mr Koku Anyidoho has been arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service after he predicted a civilian coup d’etat to unseat President Akufo-Addo.

Mr Koku Anyidoho was picked up by armed policemen at the Press Centre on Tuesday in Accra moments after a press briefing on an intended demonstration over the Ghana-US military defence cooperation agreement. About 16 officers besieged the Press Center to effect the arrest.

Koku Anyidoho was escorted on foot to the CID headquarters about 500 metres away from the press centre.

He was accompanied into the facility by the NDC General Secretary Asiedu Nketiah, NDC National Chairman Kofi Portuphy and PNC Chairman Bernard Mornah.

Meanwhile, a crowd of NDC sympathisers are currently massing up outside the CID headquarters.

What did Koku Anyidoho say

Mr Koku Anyidoho in an interview on Accra-based Happy FM said President Akufo-Addo suggested that President Akufo-Addo was likely to suffer the fate of his father who was overthrown as President by a military coup in 1972.

“Somebody should tell Nana Akufo-Addo that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself,” the NDC firebrand said.

“On the January 13, 1972 a certain Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led a movement that removed the Progress Party from power. Busia was the Prime Minister and Akufo-Addo’s father was a ceremonial president. Somebody should tell Nana Akufo-Addo that history has a very interesting way of repeating itself.

“There’ll be a civil revolt. There’ll be a people’s movement. During President John Mahama’s tenure didn’t we receive similar threats from the likes of Let My Vote Count and OccupyGhana,” the former presidential spokesperson opined.

Mr Koku Anyidoho added: “There’ll be a civilian coup d’etat; there’ll be a social revolution and the movement is starting on Wednesday. He [Akufo-Addo] will be fed up at the Presidency.”




Minority denies voting in favour of Ghana-US military pact

Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) have denied that MPs who supported the ratification of the Ghana-US military defence cooperation agreement at the joint committee meeting came from the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC).

They said there was no voting at the meeting of the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and so it was misleading to suggest that the NDC MPs voted in favour of the agreement.

“We wish to place on record that the attempt to create the impression that the majority of MPs who voted in favour of the passage of the agreement in issue came from the minority NDC is false,” they said in a statement signed by the Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee, Mr James Agalga.

It described as ‘deliberate mischievousness’, the display of the Votes and Proceedings of Parliament dated March 22, 2018 on social media which captured among others the attendance list of members of the Joint Committee on Defence and Interior and Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to suggest that the majority of members who actually attended the committee meeting and recommended the ratification of the agreement came from the minority NDC.

The statement said a careful scrutiny of the votes and proceedings displayed on social media would indicate in no uncertain terms that the list of MPs’ attendance did not disclose any voting pattern.

“It is, therefore, very misleading for anyone to simply identify MPs whose names appear on the attendance list by their respective political parties and conclude that the majority of members present at the meeting came from the NDC and that they must be the ones who recommended to the plenary that the agreement be passed,” it said.

Critical objections

The statement said at the commencement of proceedings before the joint committee, the NDC Minority Members of Parliament raised very critical objections to the agreement in the collective.

For instance, it said the Minority NDC members rejected the agreement as one which contravened Article 75 of the Constitution on the ground that it was never executed by the executive branch of government prior to its laying in Parliament. “This objection, it is important to emphasise, was conceded by the Minister for Defence,” it said.

The statement added that following the Defence Minister’s own admission that the agreement had not been executed by the President or his agent in line with Article 75, the minority NDC MPs argued strenuously for the Chairman of the joint committee to declare a division in a ruling to authorise the clerk to the committee to act in accord with Order 211 of the Standing Orders of Parliament to no avail.

Order 211 of the Standing Orders reads as follows: “(1) Every decision in a committee shall be taken by the clerk of the committee asking each member of the committee separately how he desires to vote and recording the votes accordingly.

(2) In taking the division, the names of all members of the committee shall be called in alphabetical order.

(3) When a division is claimed in a committee, every member of the committee present shall, unless he expressly states that he declines to vote, record his vote either AYES or NOES. The clerk of the committee shall enter in the minutes of the proceedings a record of each member’s votes. A member must vote according to his voice.

(4) As soon as the clerk has collected the votes, the chairman shall state the number of members voting for the AYES or NOES respectively and shall then declare the division.

The statement said in view of the fact that the chairman of the committee declined the Ranking Member’s invitation to declare a division, Order 211 of the standing orders was never invoked. The failure and/or refusal of the chairman to invoke Order 211 resulted in a stand-off at the committee for well over three hours.

Eventually, it said, the minority NDC MPs insisted that all objections raised by them be captured succinctly in the report.

“It is, therefore, mind- boggling for anybody to suggest that the minority NDC MPs having argued that the agreement was unconstitutional, will turn around and recommend its passage.

“In fact, the committee could not agree on what recommendation to make in relation to the agreement in its report as the minority NDC MPs and the majority NPP MPs simply took entrenched positions.

Eventually, the compromise position taken was for the Minority NDC MPs, led by the Ranking Member for Defence and Interior committee, Mr James Agalga, to propose an amendment with the concurrence of the majority MPs led by the Chairman of the Defence and Interior committee, Mr Seth Acheampong, to allow for the recommendation for the ratification of the agreement to stand in the name of the NPP majority members of the committee,” it said.

The statement said that explained why the chairman of the Committee for Defence and Interior also proposed an amendment to be taken in respect of paragraph 6.4 of the committee’s report so that the NPP majority members would distance themselves from what they claimed to be harsh language of the said paragraph 6.4.




NPP opens regional nominations

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) will from today open nominations for its members seeking positions at the regional-level of the party.

The regional level elections will be held from April 21-24 across the country.

Vetting shall also be held from March 27-29, 2018 while vetting results shall be released not later than March 31, 2018.

These were disclosed by the acting General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu, when he addressed a news conference in Accra last Thursday to outline the party’s guidelines for the regional delegates’ conference.

The conference, which will be held in all 10 regions, is a follow-up to the recently held annual constituency delegates’ conference.

Unresolved issues

The NPP has already held elections for its polling station and constituency executive members. However, elections could not be held in some constituencies and polling stations because of some unresolved issues.

Mr Boadu, at the press conference, said they had been able to make strides in resolving such issues, adding that about 14 constituencies were unable to elect their executive members.

“…as we speak, some 94 per cent of the constituencies in the country have been able to successfully conduct this exercise and elected constituency executive members. We are left with 14 constituencies out of the 275. It is, however, gratifying to say that the party has made significant strides at resolving the issues in the remaining five per cent.”

Regional breakdown

“By way of regional breakdown, there are four of such constituencies in the Greater Accra Region comprising Ablekuma North, Ablekuma South, Adentan and Okaikoi South. Aside from Okaikoi South which is still outstanding, we have been able to resolve the issues in the three constituencies and same have been taken out of court. In the Northern Region, we have six outstanding constituencies comprising Bimbilla, Daboya, Karaga, Nalerigu, Nyonyo and Tatale. Aside from Bimbilla and Daboya where there were security issues, the other four are being resolved,” Mr Boadu said.

In the Western Region, the acting general secretary said the party had been able to resolve issues in the troubled constituencies which included “Shama, Kwesimintsim and Sekondi, with the exception of Elembelle”.

“Finally, in the Central Region, we still have three outstanding constituencies comprising Cape Coast South, Ajumako Enyam and Awutu Senya West. The national steering committee, at its last meeting, constituted a three-member committee comprising Sammy Awuku, Evans Nimako and Bob Agbontor to look at the issues in all the outstanding constituencies across the country and advise accordingly,” he added.


Making reference to Article 926 of the party’s constitution, Mr Boadu disclosed that ‘members of the regional executive committee, Members of Parliament in the region, members of the constituency executive committee in the region, regional representatives on the party’s national council, one TESCON member from recognised tertiary institutions in the region, 10 patrons in the region and all founding members from the region who are signatories at the EC’ should be present at the conference.

He appealed to the aspirants and their supporters to abide by the rules and guidelines for the primaries and conduct themselves in a mature manner in order to have an incident-free election.





N.D.C Embarks On Registration And Reorganisation In The Diaspora

The National Democratic Congress (N.D.C) has embarked on a reorganisation exercise for its members in the Diaspora as they restructure the party to win power from the New Patriotic Party (N.P.P) come 2020 general elections.

In a Press Release signed by the Deputy National Communications Officer, Fred Kwesi Agbenyo, a two member NDC delegation led by the General Secretary, Hon. Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah has left for the United Kingdom for a 3 day event to launch the Diasporan Reorganisation Programme.

According to the press release, the delegation will use the opportunity to educate members of the UK/Ireland branch of the party regarding to the party’ guidelines as well as the approach to use in ensuring effective registration and reorganization in the party quest to win power from its opponent (NPP) in the next general elections in Ghana.

The General Secretary is accompanied by the National Organiser, Mr. Kofi Adams. In the meantime, the Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Koku Anyidoho will be acting as the General Secretary in the absence of Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah.

The delegation is expected to return to Accra on Monday, 19th March, 2018, the press release stated.




Source: Ishmael Barfi/Wisetvonline.com

“I Am The Best Among The Lot”-George Isaac Amoo Declares

Honourable George Isaac Amoo who is not a new face in the political scene and the New Patriotic Party (N.P.P) has described himself as the best choice for the Greater Accra Region Chairmanship position.
To him, having contested for the position twice, a founding member and the first Organizing Secretary in the Ayawaso Wuogon Constituency, an Assembly Member as well a former Member of Parliament on the ticket of the party has given him the upper hand as well as the ideal choice to lead the Greater Accra Regional branch of the party.
Outlining his vision for the party as he declares his interest in the Chairmanship slot, Hon. George Isaac Amoo indicated that, there is the need for the party to empower the grassroots and foot soldiers for them to be able to preach the good policies, projects and works executed under the able leadership of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) come the year 2020.

To him, these people are the central cord of the party that, there is the need to continue to engage them as well as seek their interest if it is the desire of the party to retain power and continue to work to enhance the livelihoods of the ordinary Ghanaian.
Honourable George Isaac Amoo made these remarks during his official Campaign Launch for the Greater Accra Regional Chairmanship position when the party opens nomination.
With all these credentials, Mr. Amoo believes he stands tall among the other contestants, as according to him, he has experienced it all having gone through the various stages of political career without blemish or scandals. Therefore, contesting is to preserve, restore hope and as well consolidate the gains of the party especially in the Greater Accra Region in 2020 general elections.

Indicating that, Greater Accra Region is the heartbeat of Ghana politics and that, there is the need to have a strong leadership front that will translate the numerous works and projects that has been put in place by the President Nana Akufo Addo Dankwa Akufo -Addo and the NPP party into votes to retain the presidency as well as wrestle for most of the parliamentary seats in the Greater Accra Region.
Emphasizing that, “My decision has been influenced by the desire to empower party foot soldiers and motivate people at the grassroots level to be involved in the affairs of the party to win and consolidate our gains in 2020 and noted that, our grassroots continue to be the engine of growth and sustenance as long as we continue to engage in this preoccupation.”

Believing that, he is the right choice for the chairmanship as he will ensure that the grassroots are economically resourced and catered for cautioning those who think Election 2020 will be a walk over their opponents to revise their notes and take a cue from history.
” Our fortunes in Election 2020 will be dependent on how well we manage, resource and marshal our grassroots effectively for the daunting task ahead”, he reiterated.

However stressing that, if these grassroots continue to live in poverty, it would be difficult for them to work hard to ensure the party consolidate gains in the general elections in 2020.
But was quick to say, his tenure as Chairman will engineer and re-connect the party and grassroots to be a formidable force for the daunting task ahead of the constituencies and party.
Honourable George Isaac Amoo assured all and sundry of his willingness to open up for scrutiny as a way of showing an unquenchable desire to achieve good leadership and power come 2020 general elections.




Source : Ishmael Barfi/wisetvonline.com

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