All is set for the presidential primary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday February 23, 2019 following the balloting for positions on the ballot paper by the seven candidates of the party yesterday.
That exercise saw Mr Alban Bagbin in the first position, Mr Nurudeen Iddrisu in second place, former President John Dramani Mahama in third place with Mr Sylvester Mensah, Mr Ekwow Spio Garbrah, Mr Augustus Tanoh and Prof. Joshua Alabi in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh places respectively.
Per that permutation, the names as they would appear on the ballot paper to be used in voting by delegates would have the image and names of the seven hopefuls in the same order.
The balloting for the various positions on the ballot sheet was done behind closed doors.
Discussions were ongoing within the party faithful who had gathered at the premises of the party headquarters when they had hint that former President Mahama had picked the number three spot.
The party, prior to the balloting, had successfully deemed all the seven aspirants fit to contest the primary after they were all vetted last Tuesday by the Vetting Committee of the party.
The Vetting Committee had presented its report to the hierarchy of the party following which the way was paved for the balloting for positions to take place.
The party hierarchy had originally scheduled to do the balloting at 10 a.m. yesterday but media persons went to the party headquarters only to be told that the Vetting Committee was still processing its report following which it had to be accepted and validated by the party hierarchy before the balloting for positions on the ballot paper could take place.
Subsequently, the balloting for positions was deferred to 3 p.m. in the afternoon but for most of the aspirants, they asked to be represented and were not there themselves.
The Daily Graphic spotted Prof. Alabi, Mr Iddrisu and Mr Bagbin within the premises of the party head office showing keen interest in the quest for their placement on the ballot sheet.
Change in programme
When the process had been completed indoors, Mr Bede Ziedeng, the acting Director of Elections of the NDC, told the media that all was ready for the next processes that will culminate in the election of a flag bearer.
Going forward, he said, there will be the printing of notice of poll to be sent to all the regions, constituencies and electoral areas to make the electorate knowledgeable on the competing candidates.
In a departure from a line of activities previously announced, the printing of the ballot papers would be delayed and take place from February 3, to 17, 2019 to be followed by the distribution of the ballot papers to all the constituency centres.
That, he said, will be followed by the actual voting on February 23, with the results being returned to the regional offices for onward transmission to the national headquarters of the Electoral Commission (EC) after collation following which the EC staff, together with the Electoral Officers of the party, will return to the headquarters of the NDC for announcement and declaration of the winner.