Members of the ruling New Patriotic Party who wish to vie for Parliamentary Candidate position in the party’s primaries must be ready to sign contract that bars them from contesting as independent candidates should they lose the Primaries.
Members of the party running as independent candidates after losing their parliamentary Primaries has been attributed to as one of the main factors that made the party lose its 2008 elections. Aside the 2008 general elections, the party is on record to have lost some key parliamentary seats due to the canker of disgruntled PC hopefuls running as independent candidates.
In 2016 for instance, a PC hopeful who lost in the Ofoase/Ayirebi Constituency contested the same election on the ticket of the PPP.
To curb these issues of candidates running as independents should they not be successful in the primaries, the party has directed that Aspiring Parliamentary Candidates (APC) should be made to sign a contractual undertaking with the party, committing themselves to supporting whoever is eventually elected/selected as the party’s parliamentary candidate. APCs have also been directed to sign that they will not contest as Independent Parliamentary Candidate or as a Parliamentary Candidate on the ticket of any political party, “and that, the NPP reserves the right to restrain him/her should he/she decide otherwise.”
This was contained in a release signed by the party’s general Secretary John Boadu outlining the guidelines and modalities for the upcoming PC Primaries for orphan Constituencies.
The party has scheduled 28th SEPTEMBER, this year for the conduct of the primaries in the orphan constituencies.
According to the party, vetting of aspiring parliamentary candidates shall be held from 10th August to 15th August, and the vetting report shall be submitted to NEC through the General Secretary not later than August 18, 2019.
The party has therefore constituted various National Parliamentary Vetting Committees (NPVC) for the purpose of vetting the APCs. The NPVCs according to the party shall comprise of
One Representative appointed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) who shall be the Chairperson, The Regional Secretary, who shall be the Secretary to the NPVC, One Representative from the Regional Executive Committee; and all three members of the Constituency Parliamentary Election Committee (CPEC).
NEC, through the National Steering Committee, has therefore appointed its representatives and for that matter Chairpersons of the NPVC for all the 16 regions. They are Nii Adu Mantey for Greater Accra Region, Rita Asobayire for Ashanti Region, Sammi Awuku for Western Region and Evans Nimako for Northern Region.
Others are Hon. O.B Amoah, Eastern Region, F.F Antoh (Chairman) and Brigadier J. Odei, Volta Region, Emmamuel Attafour Danso, North East Region and Henry Nana Boakye for both Ahafo and Bono Regions.
Omari Wadie, Kwadjo Afari, Dr. Clifford Braimah and Nana Obiri Boahen have all been assigned to Upper West Region, Western North Region Oti Region and Bono-East Region respectively while Kofi Marfo, Ofori Asiamah and both Nii Laryea Squire (Chairman) and Kwayaja Nganiba Joseph have been assigned to Savanna Region, Central Region and Upper East Region respectively.
“The Constituency Executive Committee and Regional Executive Committee members are observers during vetting session. No other person other than members of the Constituency and Regional Executive Committee shall be permitted to observe or witness the vetting session.” The statement said.
The party has further directed persons holding positions as constituency or regional executives who wish to contest in the primaries to recuse themselves from their current positions throughout the selection/election process until the parliamentary primaries are over.
The general secretary stated that, “the party shall have a National Parliamentary Appeals Committee (NPAC) which shall receive petitions from disgruntled or disqualified aspiring candidates from 20th August to 23rd August.” The NPAC has Hon. Peter Mac Manu, as Chairperson and Evans Nimako as Secretary. The members include Hon. Addo Kufour Madam Elizabeth Ohene, Hon. Cecelia Abena Dapaah and Hon. S.K. Boafo. Others are Lawyer Gary Nimako, Lawyer Emmanuel Darko and Lawyer Joyce Opoku-Boateng.
According to the party, “the National Parliamentary Appeals Committee shall have the capacity to receive and resolve petitions that may be submitted by disqualified aspirant(s). An APC who is be dissatisfied with the vetting process and outcome thereof, may petition the National Appeals Committee for immediate redress.”
“The decision of the National Parliamentary Appointments Committee on the petition so submitted to it shall be communicated to the National Executive Committee through the General Secretary, which decision shall be final. For the avoidance of doubt, no APC shall proceed to Court in respect of any matter regarding this election unless and until he/she has fully exhausted the internal redress procedures and mechanisms for resolving disputes in accordance with Article 4(8)(4) of the party’s constitution.” The statement added.
Venue and Register
The party stated that “it shall be the duty of the NPVC to determine the venue for the Constituency primaries; ensure level playing field for all APCs in the constituency; organize security, venue and programme of activities for the polling day.”
“The photo Album/Register which was used to elect the Constituency Executives in February, 2018, shall be the same album that will be made available to the NPVC and the Electoral Commission of Ghana for the conduct of the parliamentary primaries. Any delegate, who appoints a proxy, shall apply to the National Secretariat 2 weeks before the conduct of the parliamentary primaries.” The statement said.
The party stated that, further details of the guidelines and modalities shall be attached to the Nomination Forms to be procured by the aspiring parliamentary candidates.
It further called on all aspirants to comply with the guidelines adding that “any aspiring candidate who flouts any of the above guidelines and modalities or conducts him/herself in a manner that brings the party’s name into disrepute shall be deemed to have breached Article 4(7) of the NPP constitution and will, accordingly, be sanctioned including being disqualified from contesting in the primaries. “
The general secretary used the opportunity to wish all the candidates, the best of luck.