NPP prepares for June 20 primaries in 168 constituencies

Evans Nimako, Director of Research and Elections

The governing New Patriotic Party is getting ready for its upcoming parliamentary primaries slated for June 20. The party will be electing parliamentary candidates in 168 out of 169 constituencies where it has sitting MPs.

According to the party’s National Executive Committee, there will be no primaries in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, of Greater Accra Region, where Ms Lydia Alhassan is the MP.
Out of the number, 65 will be going unopposed, leaving the 310 contestants to battle for the remaining 103 slots.

According to the party’s Director of Research and Elections, Evans Nimako, the primaries have been suspended in three constituencies, namely Kwadaso, Gushiegu and Dormaa Central, leaving 100 constituencies where the party will be having elections over the weekend.

Regional breakdown

The Ashanti Region leads with 101 candidates contesting in 44 constituencies, followed by the Eastern Region with 64 candidates in 27 constituencies.

The Greater Accra Region has 49 candidates in 20 constituencies; Central Region, 42 candidates in 19 constituencies; Western Region, 20 candidates in 13 constituencies, Bono Region, 24 candidates in 11 constituencies, and 18 candidates in eight constituencies in the Northern Region.

The rest are Upper West Region, with 12 candidates in five constituencies; Ahafo, nine candidates in four constituencies; five candidates in three constituencies respectively in Western North and Upper East regions and one candidate each for the Oti and Savannah regions.

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In terms of constituencies with unopposed candidates, the Ashanti Region leads with 16; Eastern 12; Central and Greater Accra, seven each; and Western six.

The rest are Bono, four; Northern, three; Ahafo and Western North, two each; with Oti, Savannah, Upper East and Upper West having one each.

Interaction with delegates

All 65 unopposed candidates, according to Mr Nimako, shall be made to meet the delegates in their respective constituencies. The delegates are required to converge at the Electoral Area or Zonal level for candidates to address them.

He explained that, unlike constituencies where there will be contest, interaction with delegates by unopposed candidates can be held in more than a day, and does not also have to start from 7am to 1pm as outlined by the party.

Already, this exercise has begun in some parts of the country, mainly in the Eastern Region.

The exercise, which started yesterday, is expected to be completed by Saturday, June 20.

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The Eastern Regional Communications Director of the NPP, David Prah, who confirmed this to the Daily Statesman, said this is to free the regional leadership and the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee (NPVC) in the region to enable them focus on the constituencies where primaries will take place.

Rules of the game

Mr Evans Nimako pleaded with all aspirants and their supporters to adhere to the rules of the game. He also advised them to desist from running to the media over the slightest misunderstanding, saying his office and that of the NPP General Secretary are always open to facilitate conciliatory redress of issues among contestants.

He disclosed that already some aspirants have started requesting the albums for the elections, assuring that the head of IT at the party’s headquarters is ready to make them available upon request.

“We are hoping to get the album to all regional and constituency offices so that aspirants may not have to travel all the way to Accra,” he told the Daily Statesman.

He explained that every delegate, regardless of the number of positions the person holds in the party, is entitled to only one vote. He added that all polling station and electoral area coordinators are to vote at their respective electoral areas, subject to the Covid-19 safety protocols, while all constituency officers, members of the Council of Elders, patrons and founding fathers will be voting at the constituency offices.

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He further stated that delegates who resigned from their respective positions to contest for other positions, but lost, forfeit their right to vote in the upcoming primaries.

The constituency offices, he added, shall also serve as the collation centres for the primaries which shall be supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Hot seat

Meanwhile, some constituencies are expected to experience heated contests. These include Akwatia, Nkawkaw, New Juaben South and Mpraeso, all in the Eastern Region.

Similarly, constituencies like Dome Kwabenya, Tema East and West and Okaikwei North and South, all in the Greater Accra Region, are also expected to produce waves of tension.

Others include Bantama, Adansi Asokwa, Asante Akyem South and Central, Manso Nkwanta, Nhyiaso, Ejisu, all in the Ashanti Region.

In the Northern sector, Nanton, Navrongo Central, Lawra, among others, are also expected to produce some heated but friendly fires.


Source: Daily Statesman


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