Asante Akyem North NPP parliamentary primary suspended

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has suspended the parliamentary primary in the Asante Akyem North Constituency in the Ashanti Region following a court injunction.

Some of the delegates filed for the injunction arguing that their names have been removed from the register for the election.

The incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi is contesting the seat with Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, a former MP for the area.

Mr Appiah-Kubi defeated Baah Agyemang in the last NPP primary and went ahead to win the parliamentary election io enter the Legislative House.

Baah Agyemang is bent on snatching the seat back and the constituency had been labeled as one of the hotspots in Saturday’s primaries being organized in 100 constituencies across the country by the NPP.

Constituency delegates in the 100 constituencies are meeting on Saturday with a one agenda item - election of a parliamentary candidate.

Due to the coronavirus disease and the need to observe social distancing, the NPP has decided that each delegate should vote in their electoral area.

Voting will start at 7 am and end at 1 pm.

The National Organiser of the NPP, Mr Sammy Awuku confirmed on Friday morning that the primary in the Asante Akyem North constituency has been suspended following the court case.

Read also: 102,000 NPP delegates to decide fate of 308 aspirants

About 145 Polling Station Executives of the NPP in the Asante Akyem North Constituency whose names have been expunged from the delegates’ album for Saturday’s parliamentary primary had urged the Constituency Executives Committee to correct the anomaly to ensure peace in the area.

The group emphasised that as party executives whose membership had been attained through a well-supervised election, it was their rightful mandate to take part in the election of a parliamentary candidate.

Disregard for party constitution

Earlier at a press conference, the convener of the group, Mr Kwabena Frimpong, stated that the constituency executive committee had given a blatant disregard for the party’s constitution and its dictates by removing them from the delegates album and replacing them with people who were alien to their respective polling stations.

He stated that this was very alarming and urged the national executives to call the constituency executive officers to order.

“What they have done is very dangerous since as duly elected delegates, we have every right to protect our office and our party’s constitution hence it is our resolve to resist this attempt to disenfranchise us even with the last drop of our blood,” he stressed.

Mr Frimpong said he couldn’t fathom what could trigger the removal of the legitimate members and their replacement with people who were not registered voters in the constituency while the party’s constitution stressed that no one could be a polling station executive at where he or she would not vote.

Grassroot members

The situation, he said, if not resolved could bring mayhem within the party, indicating that “the backbone of any political party is its grassroot; the political fortunes or otherwise of any political party depends on the preparedness of its grass root members to actively champion the party’s affairs at the polling station level".

The convener said the abnormality was an attempt by the constituency executives and the Member of Parliament to destroy the party’s foundation, thereby dwindling the electoral fortunes of the party in future elections.

“We are also respectfully calling on Nananom in the Asante Akyem North enclave to, as a matter of urgency, come in to avert this impending calamity come June 20, 2020,” he said.

“The ‘Kumi preko’ demonstrations in the 90s led by no other person than our President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has thought members of the NPP to resist all forms of non-democratic and dictatorial tendencies with all our might and so will we do,” Mr Frimpong added.

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