Posted by By Musikilu Mojeed, Abuja on
Peoples Democratic Party governors are now to be allowed a contigent of 10 commissioners or special advisers each to the party’s national convention.....
Peoples Democratic Party governors are now to be allowed a contigent of 10 commissioners or special advisers each to the party’s national convention where its presidential candidate for the 2007 elections will be elected.
By the party’s current constitution, all commissioners and special advisers to PDP governors are eligible to attend and vote at the national convention.
The new arrangement for the emergence of the party’s candidate, announced on Monday in Abuja by the PDP’s National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, also includes guidelines for the emergence of candidates for other elections.
Ali, at the opening of a meeting of the PDP Youth Leadership Forum, said the new arrangement was to create a level playing field for all presidential aspirants.
He also announced that the party would not allow fraudsters and politicians of questionable character to fly its flag in 2007.
There are claims that the party had amended certain provisions of its constitution but the amended version of the constitution is still being kept under wraps.
By the new arrangement, the party said it had increased the number of ward delegates eligible to participate in the local government congresses from seven to 40.
Ali said 25 delegates and 15 members of the executive of the party in each ward would participate in the election of the party’s candidates for the House of Representatives, the Senate and the governorship primaries. Five of the 40 delegates from each of the wards will be women.
He said the new arrangement was to create a level playing field for all aspirants and take the party to the grass roots, adding that party members interested in elective positions would have no choice than to embark on grass roots campaign.
The PDP chairman explained that delegates from the wards in each local government would form the electoral college that would elect chairmanship candidates, while ward delegates from the local governments making up a constituency in a state would form the electoral college to elect candidates for the state Houses of Assembly election.
Ward delegates in a federal constituency will form the electoral college to elect the party’s candidates for the House of Representatives while ward delegates in a senatorial zone will pick the senatorial candidate.
All the ward delegates in a state, Ali said, would also elect a governorship candidate of the party in the state.
Also speaking on the new arrangement, the National Youth Leader of the party, Dr. Sani Indabawa, said the guideline would allow the party to select its candidates without rancour.
In his speech, the party’s National Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, warned opposition parties against rigging and violence.
He said the PDP would send security agenciesafter any one who attempted to commit violence.
He said, “We will not condone any attack on the PDP and its leadership by the opposition parties. It is time to call the opposition parties to order; I think I should give them this warning.”
Saying the parties were free to carry out their campaigns as their democratic right, Maduekwe argued that the PDP would not tolerate a situation where they incite the people against it.
He cautioned them to concentrate on their campaign rather than engage the PDP in a verbal war and assured the gathering that the party would win the 2007 elections if the polls were free and fair.
He said the selection process of the party’s candidates “will be open, transparent and dramatic. We are conscious of the fact that we cannot afford to betray the trust reposed in us by the electorate.”
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