Article 4 of the NDP’s constitution states: “The party shall, at all times, recognise and acknowledge the financial contributions and moral support of our Founding Fathers led by former President J J Rawlings and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings.”
It further says, “The legacy of the Founders, in so far as it relates to their efforts in establishing this party, is hereby acknowledged and recognised.”
Threat of sanctions
The constitution stipulates that any attempt to question or disregard the founders will attract sanctions.
“No member of the party shall question, doubt, challenge or otherwise act in a manner calculated to compromise the legitimacy of their role as the Founders in relation to their unique position in the history of the party …
“Any member who, by word of mouth, conduct, act or omission, does anything likely to bring the honour and integrity of the Founding Fathers into disrepute shall be liable to disciplinary proceedings.”
Some political pundits say this could be the reason behind the NDP’s scathing attack on the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for capitalising unduly on the death of the late president, who doubled as the founder of the NDC.
Parts of the constitution also state that all party activities and programmes shall be carried out consistent with time-tested principles of probity, accountability and social justice as espoused by Rawlings and Nana Konadu.
Mahama will lose
On Monday (23 November), Alhaji Mohammed Frimpong, secretary general of the National Democratic Party, claimed that Jerry Rawlings had been determined to see the current flagbearer for the NDC lose the 7 December elections.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra, Frimpong said his claim is supported by a recent confession by the late president that he voted for the NDP in the 2016 elections.
“When he was alive, he chose not to be part of John Mahama’s 2020 campaign and it will be disingenuous to seek and make him a part of the campaign now that he is gone, much more to link his funeral to the same party’s activities,” Frimpong said.
“The 2020 election is due, but ask yourself as a cadre: will Jerry John Rawlings vote for a candidate that he thought was not fit to lead the party that he founded?
“As matter of fact, he was eager to see Mahama lose because he believes Mahama and his cohort have departed from the very ideals of probity and accountability upon which the NDC was formed,” the general secretary said.
Hijacking Rawlings funeral
He accused the NDC of trying to hijack the late president’s funeral by engaging in an unnecessary brawl with the family and the state.
“The most unfortunate aspect of this is that the leadership of the NDC is embroiled in a desperate battle with the Rawlings family and the state over who has the right to conduct the funeral of the late president whom they have maligned,” Frimpong said.
“What they do not know, or perhaps have deliberately overlooked, is the fact that they are robbing the late president of a befitting send-off. They desperately want to reduce his send-off of a befitting burial to a party funeral just so they can benefit politically.”