Source: Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie
The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), says all is set for its presidential primary on Saturday November 4, to elect a flagbearer for the 2024 general election.
In all, a little over 208,000 delegates are to cast their ballot across the 270 constituencies of the country to elect one out of the four aspirants.
The delegates, who make up the Electoral College comprises Members of Parliament, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, ministers and their deputies, foundation members of the NPP, members of the party’s National Council and patrons and council of elders.
The rest are regional party officers, constituency officers, constituency patrons, constituency elders, electoral area coordinators, polling station executives, overseas branches and members of Tescon, the tertiary students’ wing of the party.
The delegates will be voting on four aspirants, namely the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong, former Agric Minister, Dr Akoto Afriyie, and a former MP, Francis Addai-Nimo.
Speaking on PM Express on Wednesday, November 2, the General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Kodua, said all arrangements for a successful electoral exercise have been put in place for Saturday.
“With a few days left, I can tell you and the party’s rank and file that we are ready. The Electoral Commission is ready, the Ghana Police Service is also ready, and I believe that delegates and the aspirants themselves are also ready.”
He said the Ghana Police Service has the full support of the party to offer maximum security during the election without any interference.
“We have never had a perfect election in this world, and we always learn from the previous ones and improve on the future ones. About a week ago, the party, the Electoral Commission and the Ghana Police Service together with the aspirants, had a meeting at the Police headquarters, and we were all clear in our minds about the role that the Ghana Police Service will be playing on Saturday.
“And I also indicated our fullest support to the Ghana Police Service, that on Saturday they are in charge, they are supposed to make sure there is maximum security in and around where the voting will be taking place in all the 277 centers that we are going to have the election. On that day, I have also given them the assurance that as a party we will comport ourselves very well, and nobody even from the presidency to the national party will have the right to interfere with the work that will be done by the Electoral Commission or the Ghana Police Service.”
He added that, “Anyone who makes any attempt to cause any havoc or chaos there should be arrested by the Ghana Police Service. So, I am sure that the police will be up to the task and we are looking forward to have a very successful primary on Saturday.”
According to the General Secretary, all issues regarding the delegates’ album or register have been sorted out with all the aspirants satisfied.
“The final album has now been given to the Electoral Commission to bring it on the day of the polls”Mr Kodua noted.
Allegations of financial inducement were rife during the party’s super delegates’ conference that trimmed the number of aspirants to five, until the resignation of former Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen, leaving four contestants.
While aspirants have often been accused of inducing delegates to sway votes in their favour, they have mostly denied with the explanation that the monies are largely given to delegates to take care of their transportation and food.
But the party’s General Secretary says anyone found to be engaging in any act of inducement at the voting grounds will be handed over to the police. He, however, emphasised that the winner of the election will be based on merit and not the influence of money.
“Some people will also be disappointed because I don’t know how about 203,00 delegates, as aspirant will be able to give mayb2 200 cedis or 300 cedis to each of them. I believe the election on Saturday will be determined based on merit, based on the people’s perception and how an aspirant has been able to sell his message to the delegates. I don’t think ‘monecracy will play any role on Saturday. Our focus is to have a transparent election, and I can assure you money will not determine who will win the election.
He, however, noted that any act of inducement that happens within the precincts of the voting area will be referred to the police.
He warned that individuals who will attempt to capture their choices in the voting booth will also be handed over to the police.