THE Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Robert Yaw Amankwa, has stated that the proposed amendments to the party’s constitution are potentially divisive.
He has consequently called on the party to reject them at the upcoming national delegates’ congress in Koforidua.
Speaking with the Daily Graphic in Kumasi last Saturday, Mr Amankwa said “from all indications, the proposed amendments are meant to favour a particular interest of the party and if we allow this to happen, the party should forget about winning the 2012 elections.”
He mentioned, for instance, one of the proposed amendments, which states that the party should organise parliamentary primaries where necessary, and said “this will be too dangerous for the NPP.”
Mr Amankwa said that could allow unpopular parliamentary candidates to manipulate the system to their advantage.
He again stated that if the presidential primary was held at the constituency level and the results were declared, it would expose some constituencies as belonging to particular candidates, which would also not augur well for a united and healthy campaign for the victor.
Mr Amankwa expressed surprise that some NPP parliamentarians in the Ashanti Region had embarked on an outreach programme to champion the acceptance of the amendments at the congress.
He said as parliamentarians, they should have known better and questioned whether they were doing that in an attempt to perpetuate their hold as MPs and advance a certain cause in the party.
The regional chairman said when that was allowed to happen, it would have serious ramifications on the future of the party.
Mr Amankwa said the NPP did not lose power because of the party’s constitution, adding, “The reasons were known to all of us and we have to find ways of addressing them before we think about constitutional amendments”.
He said he was not against constitutional amendments per se “but when they must be done, they should be at the right time.”
Mr Amakwa was happy that some of the Ashanti NPP MPs saw danger ahead and refused to join their colleagues in their so-called outreach programme.
He stressed that the congress would determine whether the NPP would live or die and therefore called on the delegates to the congress to reject the proposed amendments
Mr Amankwa debunked allegations in certain quarters of the party that former President Kufuor had bribed him and others to campaign against the proposed amendments.
“They are absolute lies and must be dismissed with the contempt they deserve,” he said, stressing that the allegations were some of the attempts to discredit the huge reputation of the former President and to cut his influence in the party”.
He emphasised that former President Kufuor was a huge asset to the party “and we have to make good use of him”.