NPP: Over 200,000 decide who should lead party into Election 2024
A total of 203,439 delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are expected to cast their ballots in all the 276 constituencies across the country today to elect a flag bearer to lead the party into the 2024 general election.
Some delegates, particularly those from the diaspora branches, will cast their ballots at the party headquarters at Asylum Down in Accra, bringing the voting centres for the polls to 277.
The four presidential aspirants of the governing NPP, who were pre-selected from 10 candidates through the Super Delegates Conference, will know their fate today whether they will be the chosen vessels to superintendent over the party’s desire to break the cycle of every party under the Fourth Republic enjoying the people’s mandate for only eight years consecutively.
No party, since the Fourth Republican Constitution, has enjoyed the privilege of ruling for more than eight years consecutively.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, is first on the ballot paper; Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia follows in the second position on the
ballot; a former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, snapped the third place on the ballot sheet, with former MP for Ashanti Mampong, Francis Addai-Nimoh, in the fourth spot on the ballot.
The Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Serebour Quaicoe, told the Daily Graphic that the electoral management body, which had been tasked by the party to be solely in charge of the election, was set for the polls, and that all electoral materials had been dispatched to the voting centres across the country.
The Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, at a meeting with the party’s Presidential Elections Committee (PEC) and representatives of the presidential aspirants a week ago, assured the party of a strong police presence during the election.
He said the police would continue to play its role in internal party and national elections in order to deepen the nation’s democracy.
“All we require from you is that you support us in order to play our roles, and with that we will be able to ensure that the police and the EC will do their work and all the people who will be voting across the country will come out freely and willingly to vote and all the agents will do what they are supposed to do,” he said.
The Prof. Mike Oquaye-chaired PEC, tasked to conduct the presidential primary of the party, has reiterated its commitment to ensure a transparent, free and fair election.
The guidelines issued by the party directed that there would be no congregation on the day of voting, hence no provision would be made to address delegates or the public by any national, regional or constituency executives, contestants or their representatives or any government official on the day of the voting.
It said no government official and any delegate listed to vote in the election could serve as an agent.
Those banned from serving as polling agents for the aspirants are metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives, ministers and their deputies, MPs, chief executive officers of state-owned enterprises, managing directors of government institutions, national, regional, constituency, electoral area coordinators and polling station executives.
It stated that voting would take place in an open place in the full glare of the public.
“Any person found directing a delegate on which contestant to vote for commits an offence, and shall be removed by the police,” the guidelines said.
It said the EC and the police “shall enforce and adhere to restricting delegates from taking their phones and other electronic photographic gadgets to the voting scene”, and that any vote that had been shown to the public would be nullified.
“The police has also been directed to deny and arrest influencers, ‘machomen’ and undesignated persons,” it added.
The guidelines also directed presiding officers not to call out names of delegates in the queue to vote, adding that individuals would walk to the officials and they would be assisted to vote accordingly.
The NPP General Secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua, at a meeting with the four aspirants and leaders of the party in Accra last Thursday, also announced that because constituency council of elders and constituency council of patrons were not part of the electoral college, the PEC had decided to make the chairmen of the two organs to oversee the constituency elections.
“They are the ones to supervise the elections at the constituency, and no officer of the party, be it constituency officer or regional officer, will have any power to interfere in the work of this committee. The police, the EC and the aspirants will be dealing directly with this committee,” he added.
He said suspended members of the party, whose cases had not been dealt with by the disciplinary committee, would be allowed to vote.
However, if the committee had recommended sanctions and same upheld, the person would not be allowed to vote.
He announced that all members of the party, whether they had paid up their dues fully or not, must be allowed to cast their ballot.