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The structure of political parties in West Africa

National Delegate’s Conference
There is a provision for a National Delegate’s Conference. This constitutes the highest body of the party. It is made up of the officers from both the regional and national level, Members of Parliament on the ticket of the party and delegates of the various constituencies. The National Delegate’s Conference elects the leader and national officers of the party and approves the party’s programmes and policies.

The National Executives
The structure also makes provision for a National Executive. The members are the national officers who have been elected at the National Delegate’s Conference and the Members in Parliament on the ticket of the party. It is sometimes called the Central Committee. This body formulates and discusses policies before they are put before the Delegate’s conference for adoption. It also runs the administration of the party.

National working Committee
The structure allows for the creation of a National Working Committee. This is a sub-committee of the National Executive. The members include the leader of the party, its Chairman and Deputies, the General-Secretary and other members selected from across board within the party. It has supervisory duties over the organization of the party from the lowest to the highest level.

National Secretariat
Provision is made for a national secretariat. This secretariat is supervised by the leader of the party and General-Secretary. The main functions of the Secretariat include to organize the party throughout the nation, co-ordinate its activities and source funding.

Regional Branch
The structure allows for the creation of regional branches with offices in all the regions. Their main duty is to supervise the work of the various constituencies that fall within their administrative demarcation.

Constituency Branches
The regions are further divided into constituencies and the structure allows for the creation of constituency branches. The constituencies are creations of the Electoral Commission and the party creates branches in all these constituencies. Subject to the approval of the regional and national executives, the constituencies elect candidates to contest a general election.

Ward Branches
The constituencies are further divided into wards and each ward has a branch of the party. The ward represents the lowest level of the hierarchy of the party. The membership of the ward Branch includes, but is not limited to, a Chairman, Secretary and a Treasurer. They are involved in the decision making of the party.

1. Describe the structure of a political party in your country. [12 marks]

2. a. What is a political party? [2 marks]

    b. Highlight five pillars of the structure of a political party in your country. [10 marks]
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