All Set For NPP Regional Polls

JAKE  OBETSIBI  LAMPTEYThe opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has stated categorically that although delegates in ten constituencies cannot cast their votes in the party’s Saturday nationwide regional elections, this would not invalidate the result of the polls.

It said the figures of the disenfranchised were too minute, and would therefore not affect the overall ballots cast in the 265 constituencies okayed by the party’s National Executive Committee to part take in the exercise.

Some party top notches have raised questions about the non-participation of delegates from the 10 constituencies who have been disqualified through no fault of theirs, and wondered if it did not infringe on their fundamental human rights.

They further querried if their non-participation in the election would not affect the outcome of the polls.

But the National Communications Director of the NPP, Perry Okudzeto told the Times yesterday that all the regional conferences which would be held at the same time in the 10 capital cities would have a quorum.

Mr. Okudzeto noted that once a conference form a quorum, as stipulated in the party’s constitution, the forum could go ahead with its activities.

He said the 10 constituencies were disqualified due to court actions or annulment of the constituencies’ conferences by the regional or national headoffices.

He, however, assured that the party hierarchy was feverishly working around the clock to ensure that some of these disputes would be resolved before the conference.

“We are hopeful some of these challenges will be overcome before or on the eve of the conference to enable delegates from those 10 constituency vote on Saturday,” he said.

Mr. Okudzeto said the party envisaged that about 5,000 delegates, across the country, would cast their votes when the polling centres open at 9.am and close at 5. pm on Saturday.

According to him, there would be formal opening ceremonies at the 10 conference venues and the adoption of all necessary protocols before delegates cast their ballots.

The NPP Director of Communications stated that the ballot papers, delegates register and other logistics had been dispatched to all regional capitals for prompt distribution on the election day.

He said, although, the polls would be conducted by the Electoral Commission, there would also be officers from the NPP national headquarters to eke with the supervision.

According to him, the presence of the national executive members was in line with the party’s constitution.

Asked if the internal factionalism between supporters of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Kwadwo Alan John Kyeremanten would not mar the beauty of the conferences, Mr. Okudzeto answered in the negative.

He claimed that elections, at the regional level, could not be a matter that would manifest into issues pertaining to presidential primaries.

Rather, such issues could gear up at the constituency level during the elections of polling station executive, who turn out to be delegates during presidential primaries of the party.

“This issue about factionalism at the regional elections is therefore news to me and a mere perception,” he stated.

He was, however, quick to explain that, “factionalism was a part of every political party and party elections”.

The NPP is a liberal democratic party that preaches in property owning democracy. It has been an offshoot of the Dankwaa-Busia-Dombo traditional.

Apart from the 1992 parliamentary elections which it boycotted in the Fourth Republic, the NPP had contested all elections since the emergence of the Fourth Republic.

It won the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections and majority of seats in Parliament, under the administration of President John Agyekum Kufuor.

It, however, lost the 2008 and 2012 general elections, and tomorrow’s regional delegates conference formed part of the re-built exercise of the party aimed at recapturing power in 2016. By Ian Motey

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