Friday, August 15, 2008

GHANA'S DEMOCRACY FIRMLY GAINING ROOTS — AKOTO OSEI (PAGE 17)

THE New Patriotic Party (NPP) executive in the Abuakwa North Constituency of the Eastern Region has given the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party a one-week ultimatum to decide whether Professor Samuel Kwadwo Amoako is qualified to be the parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
This, according to the executive, was due to his dual citizenship status, which, according to them, was contrary to the party’s constitution.
The 65-year-old professor, who beat the incumbent MP, Mr Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, by 35 votes to 31 at the primaries in May this year, was until then domiciled in the United States of America.
At a press conference at Akyem Tafo, which was attended by six out of the nine executive members, the Constituency Chairman, Mr Douglas Asare, said Professor Amoako was not qualified to enter Parliament because he was a citizen of both the United States of America and Ghana.
He stated that Professor Amoako naturalised as an American citizen on March 10, 1995 in York City in New York State and that under such a condition, there was no way out for him to be a legislator.
This, he said, had been clearly stipulated in the NPP Constitution.
According to Mr Asare, shortly after Professor Amoako had been given the nod to contest the constituency seat, the incumbent MP and another member of the party raised the issue of his dual citizenship status, which the Professor admitted.
He said the constituency executive then notified the NEC about Professor Amoako’s status, which was confirmed by the legal committee of the party.
Mr Asare said although it was expected that the NEC would clearly state its position on the matter, as of now that could not be done, putting the whole constituency in limbo.
“Professor Amoako in the first place does not qualify to apply for forms to contest for the primaries, let alone enter Parliament and we the executive give NEC one week to state its position on the matter or we will advise ourselves,” Mr Amoako stated.
Mr Amoako, who alleged that there were some leading figures in the NPP who were delaying the disqualification of Professor Amoako to enable him to renounce his American citizenship before the NEC could determine the issue, said such a situation could enable Professor Amoako’s friends in the party to lobby in his favour.
He said since the December elections were drawing nearer, it was necessary for the NEC to act now so that the appropriate person would be known to start serious campaign to retain the constituency seat, adding that the situation was giving opponents of the party a field day to campaign at the expense of the NPP.
“We are awaiting the pronouncement of the judgement by the NEC that should lead to the proclamation or otherwise of the incumbent MP, J.B. Danquah Adu.
“With this situation, the party suffers because there is no parliamentary candidate to lead political electioneering or activity to market our successes as a party and government,” Mr Asare intoned.
With regard to Professor Amoako’s conduct as parliamentary candidate, Mr Amoako stated that the Professor neither had any working relationship with the constituency executive, nor was he able to go round the constituency with the executive.
He said it was only last week during the Ohum Festival when Professor Amoako went to Tafo and Anyinasin with six armed policemen, which he said was a waste of state resources.
Mr Amoako also stated that since 2004 when Professor Amoako donated a computer and accessories to the constituency office, his contribution to the party in the constituency was about GH¢18 in terms of dues.

No comments: