Some aggrieved members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Klottey Korle constituency, have sent an SOS message to former President Jerry John Rawlings to help save the dignity of the Party in the area.
In a signed petition addressed to him, the members numbering 189, said the dignity of the party could only be saved if the former President prevails on her daughter, Dr. Zanetor Rawlings to withdraw her candidature in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
The petition comes in the wake of calls by the Klottey Korle constituency Chairman of the umbrella family, Alhaji Bashiru Nii Narh Alema, that the party risks losing the parliamentary seat in the upcoming elections, should Zanetor Rawlings be disqualified from contesting.
However, in the view of the aggrieved grassroot supporters, the conflict in the constituency is as a result of Zanetor’s failure to meet the Party’s eligibility requirement for the parliamentary primaries held on November 21, 2015, and yet, was made to contest the said polls of which she won by a landslide over the incumbent.
Dr. Zanetor polled 2,403 votes against 1,348 votes garnered by sitting MP, Nii Armah Ashitey to win the mandate of the people to represent the party in the 2016 parliamentary elections.
“We seek to prompt you on the consequences of this blunder that may tarnish our own image and render worthless the high ideals you proclaim and on which this great party was built. The rank and file of the party feels aggrieved to learn that Zanetor could not vote in the very elections she contested because she is not a registered voter on the Electoral Commission’s National voters’ register – the very register on which compilation of the NDC biometric register was based.”
“Sir, we do not seek to attack the person of Dr. Zanetor Rawlings, neither are we in any way undermining her involvement in our politics. What we seek to do with this petition, Sir, is to draw your attention to this blunder and seek your assistance in ensuring that the proper thing is done.”
“We seek to impress upon your conscience the need to speak against such an anomaly and ensure that the principles of justice, probity and accountability are not thrown to the dogs. We humbly pray that you ask your daughter to withdraw her candidature to preserve her dignity, your dignity, the dignity of the constituency and the dignity of the Party,” the petition dated December 22, 2015, in part read.
They argued that per the party’s Guidelines on the November 21 polls of the NDC, a person wishing to contest primaries must meet the requirement of the election of Member of Parliament under Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution.
However, in the case of Zanetor, the above mentioned constitutional requirement was not applicable, an issue they contended, was an affront to the laws of the land.
“If Zanetor were truly qualified to contest the elections, we would have thrown our support behind her to retain for us Klottey Korle seat. We would have rallied behind her just as we would for any qualified member of our Party, but we seek to correct the injustice that is being foisted upon us so that we do not set the wrong precedents for future generations to build on the foundations we lay today.”
“With all due respect, Sir, it is an affront to our dignity for anyone to suggest to us that once Zanetor registers in 2016 when the EC voters’ register is opened for limited registration, this will correct the wrong. Sir, her candidature would still be null and void because she did not comply with the requirements to contest the primaries.”
They believe that the anomaly if not correct will open a gaping hole for a challenge from any of the candidates from the various political parties contesting the seat.
“If the challenge succeeds, then the NDC will not have a candidate for the 2016 election”.
Four other aggrieved members including Joseph Narku Botchway, Jacob Amin, Alhaji Mohammed Mahmud and Reverend Michael Kwabena Nii Adjei Sowah also in court challenging the eligibility of Dr. Zanetor to contest the November 21 polls.