Contrary to information circulating around that the Central committee of the PF (which comprise 30 members) will choose the presidential candidate, it is the General conference that will elect the party president. The elected party president will automatically become the presidential candidate.
The central committee will only play the role of receiving applications for candidates.
The Watchdog took time to study the PF constitution and discovered that, Article 46 says the supreme policy-making organ of the Party is the General Conference and that it is only the general conference that can elect the party president.
The PF constitution says ‘the General Conference shall meet ordinarily every five (5) years but extraordinary session can be convened anytime as needs arise.
It says an extraordinary General Conference shall have the same powers as the ordinary General conference. The PF constitution is available here on their website.
Article 46, sub-article 4 of the PF constitution states that ‘The General Conference shall be attended by: (a) All members of the National Council; and (b) Up to 500 delegates from each province selected in accordance with rules made by the Central Committee.
Remember there are 10 provinces so it means 5000 delegates plus all members of the National Council.
Members of the National council are also numerous as outlined in article 50, they comprise (a) Members of the Central Committee; (b) PF Members of the National Assembly; (c) Provincial Secretaries; (d) District Chairmen; (e) District Secretaries; (f) District Chairmen and Committee members of the Women’s and Youth Leagues and Senior officers from the Party’s National Headquarters.
This means that there will be more than 6000 delegates at the extra-ordinary conference.
Article 47 says ‘the decisions of the General Conference shall be valid and obligatory for the Party and may only be revoked or altered by the General Conference.
But before going to the General Conference, the Central Committee and the National Council will have to meet to approve names of presidential candidates. This is the only vital role the Central committee plays and can manipulate the names of presidential candidates.
Article 52 (5) says the Central Committee shall submit the name of the candidate or candidates to the National Council for approval or disapproval.
(6) The person whose candidature for the office is not approved by the National Council shall not be Eligible for election at the General Conference for the office of the President of the Party.