Today's NPP super delegates conference: Who scales through?
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) goes to the polls today to elect five out of the 10 flagbearer aspirants for the November 4, 2023, national conference of the party.
The five successful candidates will go for the final round of the presidential primary to elect a flag bearer for the 2024 general election.
The Special Electoral College system was introduced by the party after the 2007 primary in which 17 aspirants contested the flagbearership for the 2008 general election.
The party subsequently amended its constitution to accommodate not more than five persons for the flagbearership contest, with the new format being applied in the processes towards the 2016 general election.
According to Article 13(9) of the NPP constitution, "Where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the party's presidential candidate, a Special Electoral College shall cast their votes by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be shortlisted".
A total of 956 delegates, all senior members of the party, are expected to vote in today’s election to shortlist the five.
The delegates comprise the National Council, National Executive Committee (NEC), regional executive committees, members of the National Council of Elders, Members of Parliament, three representatives of each of the special organs of the party, past national officers, three representatives each from every external branch (27 branches in all), and founder members at the registration of the party at the Electoral Commission (EC).
The election will take place in all the 16 regional capitals across the country, and at the NPP headquarters at Asylum Down in Accra, with the final collation slated to take place at the EC headquarters in Accra.
The polls will start at 9:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 p.m. at all centres.
The Secretary to the NPP Presidential Elections Committee, William Yamoah, told the Daily Graphic that there would be no congregation at the voting centres, and voting would be strictly a walk-in affair as pertains in national election.
The committee has urged the EC and the police to enforce and prevent delegates from taking their phones and other photographic gadgets to the voting scene.
Additionally, the EC will use complex serial numbers to avoid ballots being traced to voters at a later date.
Mr Yamoah said there would be no provision for any party executive or aspirants or their representative to address delegates or the public at the voting centres.
“Results will be collated at the EC head office in Accra, with the participation of aspirants and/or their representatives. The EC will officially declare the results at the NPP headquarters, Asylum Down,” he added.
The 10 candidates — Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong; a former Trade and Industry Minister, Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen; the MP for Essikado-Ketan, Joe Ghartey, who is also a former Minister of Railways Development and Attorney-General and Minister of Justice; an energy consultant, Kwadwo Poku; a former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto; a former General Secretary of the NPP and Press Secretary to President J.A. Kufuor, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong; a former MP for Mampong in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh; a former Commissioner of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku; a former Minister of Energy, Boakye Agyarko; and the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia — appear on the ballot sheet in that order.
The candidates have been lobbying the delegates with their capabilities, not only to transform the Ghanaian economy and superintend over the country’s development, but also to lead the NPP to break the eight-year cycle of governance between the party and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The have also trumpeted their competence and sense of nationalism to mobilise all Ghanaians to buy into their respective visions.
But crucially, the delegates might look beyond the campaign messages of the aspirants, as the party looks towards the 2024 general election.
The nationwide polls follows months of intensive campaigning by the aspirants across the length and breadth of the country.