Partisans of Ghana's opposition Convention People's Party (CPP) are reportedly upset after a leading member of the party endorsed the presidential candidate of the ruling party ahead of this year's general elections. Honorable Freddie Blay, who is the deputy speaker of Ghana's parliament, reportedly endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo the ruling New Patriotic Party presidential candidate as the best candidate to lead the country.
Angry party executives said as a leading member of the CPP, Blay should be campaigning for the party's presidential candidate. They said his endorsement contravenes party rules, which they said would not go unpunished. Ivor Greenstreet is the general secretary of the CPP. From Ghana's capital, Accra he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the deputy speaker would be sanctioned if proven that he endorsed another presidential candidate.
"The central committee of the party, which is the chief administrative organ asked the disciplinary committee to gather the evidence to find out whether this in actually fact took place. The committee did that and on one two three occasions invited the Honorable Member of Parliament for Elembelle Freddie Blay, first deputy to appear before it to either explain what took place and to have discussions about it to find out what exactly went on. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend any of those meetings," Greenstreet noted.
He said the Disciplinary Committee is yet to take a decision on what the next line of action would be.
"The Central Committee would be meeting this Thursday the 27 August to receive the report from the Disciplinary Committee and what their recommendations are on the basis of the evidence they have gathered despite his failure to appear. And it is on that basis of what they tell us and we will then determine whether the Honorable Freddie Blay would be endorsed as a candidate or not," he said.
Greenstreet said it would be unfortunate if it were confirmed that Blay endorsed another presidential candidate instead of his party's presidential candidate in this year's general elections.
"If the committee tells us that this is in actual fact what he is supposed to have said then certainly that is the case. But until that committee tells us that then it would be prejudicial of me to suggest in advance purely from innuendo and rumor and newspaper report that I, the general secretary, have decided that that is the case," Greenstreet pointed out.
He said the party's constitution includes clear and well-defined guidelines when a partisan endorses a presidential candidate other than the party's presidential candidate.
"Clearly we turn to the constitution in a situation like this of which they are numerous ones which applies to this case is when you support another presidential candidate openly in a opposition to your own candidate there are a number of sanctions, which the constitution delineates that can be chosen. However, in this particular case what we are talking about whether the central committee will then go ahead to endorse his candidature or not. I cannot see into the future. However, what I can say from a personal perspective is obviously it would be suicidal if you have one particular candidate who is indicating that he believes that his own party's candidate has no chance of supporting a situation like that," he said.
Blay is the sitting CPP Member of Parliament for the Elembelle Constituency, and party executives have described his position as an act of gross indiscipline. At the rally, Blay reportedly referred to Akufo-Addo as "a comrade not only for the cause of freedom but for development," adding "he is an ally I will always work with," he said.