CPP elects presidential candidate today for election 2016

The Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Professor Edmund Delle, says the party’s presidential primary will go ahead today as scheduled, in spite of an application by a member, Dr Nathan Onsy Nkrumah, to restrain it from doing so.

Prof. Delle told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the executive or its assigns had not received any letter from the court barring the party from going ahead with its congress.

‘It is not an injunction from the court. This is somebody who is going to move a motion and by the time he moves the congress would have been over. If the court had written to us to stop us, that would have been different,’ he said.

Dr Nkrumah has filed an application for interlocutory injunction to stop the CPP from ‘conducting, organising or holding an election or congress with a view to electing a presidential candidate or flag bearer of the defendant party pending the final determination of the case’.

In the substantive case, Dr Nkrumah, who claims to be the son of Ghana’s first president, is asking for a declaration that his inability to file his presidential nomination forms was wrongly caused by the CPP.

He is requesting for an order to compel the defendant to accept his nomination fee and to allow him to contest the presidential primary at the extended date beyond six weeks from the filing of nominations.

In the event that the presidential congress is held, Dr Nkrumah is praying the court to set aside the outcome of the congress, on grounds that it was held in breach of the party’s constitution.

General damages for breach of the plaintiff’s right in the form of wrongfully aborting his desire to file his nomination forms and cost including legal fees are also being sought by the plaintiff.

 Injunction application
An affidavit in support of the application for injunction sworn on behalf of Dr Nkrumah by Theresa Rockson, a law clerk at Sundown Legal Service, said there was every indication the congress would go on despite the plaintiff’s suit.

It said the balance of convenience favoured the plaintiff, since he would lose the opportunity to contest the primary for the 2016 general election whereas a mere change in date would not fundamentally affect the fortunes of the CPP.

‘That as stated in the statement of claim, the defendant consciously and maliciously prevented the plaintiff from filing his nomination forms and therefore the court should not exercise its discretion in its favour,’ the affidavit noted.

According to the plaintiff, unlike him, the CPP would not suffer any irreparable injury when it is restrained by the court.

Statement of claim
The plaintiff picked up nomination forms to contest for the CPP presidential ticket but could not file before the deadline because he reportedly did not meet the requirements for the race at the close of nominations on January 11, 2016.

But in the substantive case, the plaintiff claimed he had been treated unfairly and was accordingly praying the court to order the party to reinstate him in the race.

According to the plaintiff, he had made several attempts to file his nomination forms but either the defendant had caused thugs to block him from entering the party’s offices or there had been no one in the party office to receive his nomination forms for reasons known to the CPP.

‘The plaintiff says the defendant caused his lawyers to write to the party through the chairman to explain what had transpired at the party office and to seek extension of time to file but that was also fruitless.

‘The plaintiff says it is provided in the defendant’s constitution that there must be a space of a period of not less than six weeks between the filing of presidential nomination forms and the congress to elect a flag bearer,’ the statement asserted.

According to the plaintiff, the neglect or refusal to abide by the constitutional provision was a fundamental breach which ought to be considered by the court to annul the entire process of the congress to make the defendant to respect its own constitution.

Prof. Delle
But Professor Delle said preparations such as security and logistics were in place, while confirmation from invited guests of their attendance had been received.

The Electoral Commission (EC) had also confirmed its presence at today’s congress. He said some delegates from other parts of the country were in town as of yesterday.

Preparation
Meanwhile, all is set for the party to  hold the presidential primary at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre, La, in Accra.

A visit to the Trade Fair Centre yesterday showed that the party was making feverish preparations and leaving no stone unturned to ensure  the conduct of a smooth election.

When the Daily Graphic yesterday visited Pavilion ‘B’, which will  serve as the venue of the event, to assess the extent of readiness of the party, the organisers were making all the last-minute preparations for the programme.

Posters and banners of candidates vying for the presidential candidate slot  were seen posted around the building.

Paraphernalia of three out of the four candidates  – namely Samia Yaba Nkrumah, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and Joseph Agyapong – were visibly displayed at the main entrance of the Trade Fair Centre and the main hall hosting the delegates while two huge banners of candidate Bright Oblitei Akwetey hung at the entrance of the Trade Fair Centre.

Street light poles from the La General Hospital towards the Trade Fair Centre were also decorated with CPP flags to indicate that the party was ready for its presidential primary.

Although the CPP executive members were not present at the venue at the time of the visit, some persons engaged to decorate the hall were busily working.

About 2,500 delegates from the length and breadth of the country are expected to attend and elect a presidential candidate to lead the party for the 2016 general election.

Security
Meanwhile, Emelia Ennin Abbey reports that more than 500 police personnel have been despatched by the Accra Regional Police Command to provide security ahead of the presidential primary of the Convention People’s Party at the Trade Fair Centre, La, Accra.

The personnel, according to COP Dr George Akuffu  Dampare, the Accra Regional Police Commander, are to provide security at the venue and to ensure the election takes off smoothly without any disturbances.

The personnel were yesterday (Friday) taken through their expectations for the day at a parade at the Accra Regional Police headquarters.

Parade
Addressing the personnel, Dr Dampare asked them ‘to make sure that the life of every person is protected as this forms part of our major political assignment for the year’.

He urged personnel to go out there and show a class and not to intimidate anybody.

‘Embark upon doing things differently for people to know that you have come of age and implement some of the new innovations of policing that you have been taught,’ he revealed.

The  Communication Director of the CPP, Mr  Kadri Abdul Rauf, in a telephone interview, said arrangements were on course and that the CPP was ready to hold the congress as planned.  


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