Private legal Practitioner, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has asked Members of Parliament (MPs) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who are seeking for protection by the party’s hierarchy to let their works speak for them.
Mr. Otchere-Darko’s call follows a similar admonition by a founding member of the party, Dr. Kwame Amoako Tuffour, who has challenged sitting MPs especially those in the Ashanti Region to open themselves up for contest if they trust they have indeed performed.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Fox Fm, the member of the party’s National Council of Elder asked if the current MPs would have become MPs if they had not contested others.
Dr. Tuffour stated if the current MPs have indeed performed as professed, they would be retained by the constituents who first elected them insisting that the decision to allow the sitting lawmakers to be contested is for peace to prevail.
Call for unopposed
There were rumours, recently, that the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Bosiako, popularly referred to as Wontumi, had penciled some constituencies down where there would not be parliamentary primaries. It was reported that the Ashanti Regional Chairman made the revelation at an extraordinary meeting of the party’s top regional leadership held in Kumasi.
The Member of Parliament for Bantama, Daniel Okyem Aboagye, is also reported to have knelt down in front of the Ashanti Regional Chairman to declare his constituency as one of those where parliamentary primaries would not be held. Mr. Okyem Aboagye’s action is reported to have occurred at a meeting held with the constituency, polling station executives and the electoral area coordinators of the party chaired by National Vice-Chairman of the Party, Frederick F. Anto
Rules of the Game
However, the call for unopposed or protection of MPs has since been refuted by Mr. Anto who has stated that the regional chairman wields no such powers. Mr. Anto said there are rules governing the party’s primaries and that one individual cannot take that decision for the whole party.
Mr. Otchere-Darko who shares the view of Mr. Anto in a post made on social network site stated that the only way to protect the MP’s is by letting the rules work. “The only way to protect MPs in primaries is by their own deeds, persuasion and the established rules of the game,” said Mr. Otchere Darko. He added that any attempt to do otherwise will be unwise.
Manasseh Azure Awuni, a free-lance investigative journalist expressing his views on Mr. Otchere Darko’s assertion stated “…undemocratic machinations can be suicidal” for the party.
Opening of Nominations
Meanwhile the party has yesterday, opened nominations for its upcoming presidential and parliamentary primaries slated for April 25, 2020.
According to the party’s General Secretary, John Boadu, who disclosed this last week, aspiring presidential candidates will be required to pay GH¢200,000 as filing fees and a non-refundable application fee of GH¢20,000 for nomination forms.
He stated that the presidential nomination forms would be available at the office of the General Secretary. Thereafter, “a Presidential Vetting Committee (PVC) shall be established to examine and vet the candidature of every aspirant for the presidential nomination of the party to ensure that such person qualifies to contest for the office of the President of the Republic,” he said.
Aspiring Parliamentary candidates, on the other hand, will pay a non-refundable filing fee of GH¢20,000 and a GH¢2,000 application fee.
Mr. Boadu indicated that “all Aspiring Parliamentary Candidates, other than sitting Members of Parliament shall pay a Party Development Fee of GH¢30,000.
“However, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) will enjoy a rebate of 50 per cent on the filing fees and Development Levy. By this, they will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of GH¢27,000,” he added.