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NPP elects parliamentary candidates today: Hot seats to watch

Politics

4 months ago
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All is set for polls in 101 constituencies as the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) holds parliamentary primaries today in some areas where the party currently holds parliamentary seats.

According to Graphic Online, the NPP has 137 seats in Parliament, with 33 of them going unopposed.

The party has, however, put on hold elections in the Akuapem South Constituency in the Eastern Region, Mampong in the Ashanti Region and Agona West in the Central Region.

The NPP National Director of Research and Elections, Evans Nimako, told the Daily Graphic that the Akuapem South primary was put on hold as a result of petitions received from the constituency and regional executive committees of the party, accompanied by recommendations from both committees, while that of Mampong and Agona West were due to court orders.

A statement signed and issued by the NPP General Secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua, in respect of the postponement of the primary in Akuapem South, said it was to ensure comprehensive consultations and to address concerns raised in the petitions.

Readiness

Mr Nimako said all was set for the Constituency Annual Delegates Conference and that voting materials had been sent to all the 101 constituencies where the elections would take place, while adequate security arrangements have been made to ensure the successful conduct of the polls.

He said the Electoral Commission (EC) and the police were exclusively responsible for the conduct of the polls and security.

Mr Nimako said all aspirants and the EC had been given copies of the albums (voter registers).

He urged delegates and aspirants to abide by the Political Parties Acts that stood strongly against vote-buying and other irregularities.

Mr Nimako added that the leadership of the party had put in place mechanisms to ensure the party had a successful conference to elect parliamentary candidates in these constituencies for the 2024 general election.

Guidelines

Part of the protocols outlined by the party for the primaries said the police would be heavily present at all centres to ensure order before, during and after the polls.

It added that the police, in collaboration with the EC, had been mandated to prevent delegates from entering the voting area with phones or any photographic gadgets, while influencers, including "machomen", had been warned to stay off the voting perimeter or risk being arrested.

It said the polls would start at 7 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. and that there would not be any proxy voting and no constituency would be allowed to replace the names of deceased delegates in the albums.

“The EC may decide to create additional polling centres at a voting centre to speed up the process if the number of delegates is large,” it said.

“All voting will take place in an open place in the full glare of the public. It is an offence for non-accredited persons to enter the voting perimeters,” it stated.

Goodwill message

In a goodwill message to the contestants, the flag bearer of the NPP, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, urged all aspirants to focus on the greater goal of advancing the principles and ideals of the party.

He, therefore, urged them to rise above personal interests and petty differences and ensure that the party came out of the process more strengthened and united as that was what would give the party victory in this year’s elections.

“The election of December 2024 is crucial for our party and nation. The NPP needs to come out of this process strengthened, united and ready to deliver victory in 2024.”

“We must rise above personal interests and petty differences, and focus on the greater goal of advancing the principles and ideals of our great party, the NPP,” he emphasised.

Dr Bawumia further urged all the aspirants to be guided by the principles underpinning the party’s democratic culture, the principles of freedom, fairness and peace, adding that “We are all responsible for ensuring the integrity of our party’s electoral system and ensuring compliance with the decisions of the delegates of our party.”

He also congratulated all MPs who went unopposed and urged them to justify the confidence reposed in them by ensuring that they worked assiduously to help the party secure victory in this year's elections.

Tickets

The tickets up for grabs are scattered across 15 regions, with the Oti Region being the only region where the party has no parliamentary seat. 
Delegates for today’s polls, made up of polling station and constituency executive, electoral area coordinators, council of elders and patrons and founder members (if any), will decide the fate of incumbents and their challengers.

A total of 322 aspirants are contesting primaries, including over 40 women and over 20 government appointees and officials.

It is the final leg of the party’s internal elections.

Out of the 376 aspirants who filed to contest, 322 were cleared, 33 unopposed, 17 were disqualified and three stepped down. Also, 19 experienced lawmakers of the party decided not to seek re-election.

High stakes

While the stakes are high across the constituencies, the contest is expected to be keener and interesting in the Ashanti, Eastern, Central, Greater Accra and Western regions where the seats are considered largely safe.

The National Chairman of the party, Stephen Ayesu Ntim, in a goodwill message, wished all the aspirants the best in the primaries and urged them to let the results propel them towards a resounding victory in the December general election.

“Let us demonstrate to the nation that the NPP is a party that values respectful discourse, healthy competition and democratic processes,” he said.

But beyond those fine words intended to engender sportsmanship and camaraderie among candidates and their supporters even after the polls, the temperature appears higher in some areas where the seats of incumbents appear shaky.

Sarah Adjoa Safo’s seat at Dome-Kwabenya is threatened by the Chief Executive of the Ghana Free Zones, Authority Michael Oquaye Jr, who lost the 2020 internal primary contest  narrowly, while Adansi Asokwa MP and Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T. Hammond, one of the longest-serving MPs, is facing stiff competition from three others. The Greater Accra Regional Minister and incumbent MP for Ayawaso Central, Henry Quartey, would have to also contend with the party’s Greater Accra Regional Youth Organiser, Moses Abor, who resigned from his position after serving for the past six years, to face off with Mr Quartey.

Similarly, Bantama MP and Minister of Works and Housing, Francis Asenso-Boakye, is facing a tough contest with Raphael Agyapong, a brother of former NPP presidential hopeful and MP for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.

Ashanti

Other constituencies of interest in the Ashanti Region are Bekwai, Asokwa, Suame, Subin, Kwadaso, Obuasi West, Offinso North, Asante Akim Central, Asante Akim North, Asante Akim South, Afigya Kwabre East, Ahafo Ano North and Oforikrom.

For the Bekwai Constituency, four aspirants have put themselves up to succeed the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who is bowing out of Parliament after serving four terms. Those gunning to occupy the seat are private legal practitioner, Ralph Poku-Adusei; Henry Opoku-Ware, Kinsley Opoku Agyemang and retired Commissioner of Police (COP), George Alex Mensah.

In the Asokwa constituency, two men are seeking to unseat Patricia Appiagyei, affectionately called Mama Pat. Mrs Appiagyei is serving her fourth term in Parliament and comes up against Francis Nana Yaw Boakye and Edmund Kyei.

Eastern

In the Eastern Region, the contest will be keen in Nsawam-Adoagyiri, where the Majority Chief Whip, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, is seeking a fourth term bid in Parliament.

He is being challenged by the Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Hayford Siaw, and David Adu-Tutu Jr; Ofoase Ayirebi where incumbent MP and Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is facing a former Deputy Clerk of Parliament, Eric Owusu-Mensah, and Maxwell Osei Gyamerah of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and Akyem Swedru where the Controller and Accountant General, Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem, and a Tema-based private businessman, Jerome Kwame Okyere Akordor, will sort things out with the incumbent, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, are among the interesting places to watch.

source: Theannouncergh.com