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NPP takes steps to enforce guideline on parliamentary, presidential polls

BY: Samuel Duodu
From L-R: Justin Frimpong Kodua, Ekow Vincent Assafuah and Hopeson Adorye
From L-R: Justin Frimpong Kodua, Ekow Vincent Assafuah and Hopeson Adorye

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has taken steps to enforce the code of conduct guiding the upcoming party presidential and parliamentary polls.

This follows flagrant disregard for its code of conduct for presidential hopefuls by some members of the party who are openly campaigning for their candidates of choice.

The party yesterday summoned two members; Hopeson Adorye and the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Old Tafo Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Ekow Vincent Assafuah, to the disciplinary committee.

They were summoned for making various comments that sought to openly endorse their preferred presidential hopefuls of the party ahead of the opening of nominations for its presidential and parliamentary primaries.

The party has also written to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, in respect of the 'Aduro Wo So Health Walk" that was organised in his name in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital, last Saturday.

Background

A fortnight ago, the NPP General Secretary, Justin Frimpong Kodua, issued a statement to caution party executive and members to refrain from either endorsing or openly campaigning for any presidential or parliamentary aspirant.

He reminded party executives and members of the party’s code of conduct that stipulated in Section (f) that: “Members, supporters, sympathisers of the party at all levels shall desist from using their public office or portfolio within or outside the party to promote the interest of any prospective presidential or parliamentary candidate in order to gain unfair political advantage.”

The National Council of the party, on July 27, 2021, issued a code of conduct for the party’s presidential and parliamentary primaries.

In line with Articles 2(3) and 2(4) of the party's constitution and Code of Conduct sought to foster the spirit of healthy intra-party contests by guaranteeing equal opportunity for all stakeholders.

Again, in a bid to forestall such occurrences going forward, the party would hold a meeting with all presidential hopefuls of the party to court their support and full cooperation in respect of their compliance with the party's code of conduct.
These were contained in a statement issued and signed by the NPP General Secretary, Mr Kodua, following recent public pronouncements by some members of the party, which was in breach of the party’s code of conduct.

Alan

Reacting to the development, Mr Kyerematen said in a statement titled: “I stand for unity,” that the party had always stood for unity, peace and progress for every Ghanaian. Without a doubt, these are the very same virtues that I have worked tirelessly to uphold, in my years of service to Ghana and to the NPP.

He said the walk was “independently organised and joined by thousands of well-meaning Ghanaian citizens across Kumasi” to express their passion for the NPP and genuine support for what he stood for”.

He cautioned against any acts or omissions that might disturb the peace and harmony of the party.

“It is important that we all fight what seems to be emerging as a dangerous trend in our body politic in Ghana, of using misinformation and propaganda in instigating disunity along ethnic, religious and political lines,” Mr Kyerematen stated.

Breaches

Mr Assafuah is alleged to have passed some comments that sought to advance the ambitions of one of the party’s presidential hopefuls during an interview on a Kumasi-based radio station on August 3, 2022.

Despite a prompt from the host of the show that his declaration of support for a presidential hopeful violated the party's Code of Conduct for presidential and parliamentary primaries, Mr Assafuah blatantly maintained his position.

Adorye and Health Walk

A "Health Walk" held last Saturday, August 13, 2022, in Kumasi by some individuals claiming to be supporters of one of the party's presidential hopefuls, violated the party's code of conduct for presidential and parliamentary primaries.

It stated further that comments made by some organisers of the health walk and other keynote speakers, particularly, Mr Adorye , also breached the party's code of conduct and sought to divide the party’s front.

Interventions

Prior to the" Aduru Wo So Health Walk" the General Secretary and National Organiser of the party, Henry Nana Boakye, engaged the organisers of the health walk and urged them to abandon such plans as that would be in breach of the party’s code of conduct and also granted interviews on various media houses cautioning against these imminent infractions of the code of conduct.

Unfortunately, not all these proactive interventions were adhered to by the organisers.

Subsequently, the attention of the National Steering Committee of the party was drawn to these instances during the committee's meeting on Monday, August 15, 2022 where the committee resolved that Messrs Assafuah and Adorye be invited to appear before the National Complaints Committee as provided for in the party's code of conduct.

Way forward

The party said it was determined and committed to ensuring that activities of all party executives or officers, individuals, groups, supporters and loyalists of presidential and parliamentary hopefuls do not breach the party's code of conduct for presidential and parliamentary primaries.

It further stated that the institution and enforcement of the measures were not intended to aid the electoral advantage of any prospective candidate but to prevent tensions that often arose in the lead-up to presidential and parliamentary primaries and secure a united party front for the 2024 general election.

It reiterated the party’s commitment to ensuring a free, fair and peaceful conduct of its presidential and parliamentary primaries as it seeks to win a-historic third consecutive general election by breaking the eight years’ political rule cycle.