Politics

NDC holds parliamentary primaries today! …524 aspirants to contest in 157 constituencies

pThe National Democratic Congress (NDC) is ready to elect its parliamentary candidates for 157 out of the 275 constituencies today, this is because it has clarified that the primaries will not come off in 14 constituencies.

The affected areas are Yilo Krobo, and Fanteakwa North in the Eastern Region, Mpohor and Ellembelle in the Western Region and Asawase in the Ashanti Region, Chereponi in the North Region, Kpandai and Bimbilla in the Northern Region, Hohoe in the Volta Region.

In the Western Region there will be no elections in Evalue Gwira, Takoradi, Amenfi East, Tarkwa-Nsuaem, Kwesimintim, and Esikado-Ketan; In the Central Region there will be no elections in Efutu, Awutu Senya East, Upper Denkyira West and Ejumako-Enyan-Essiam have been put on hold due to some unresolved issues surrounding the qualifications of some aspirants.

According to the leadership of the party, there will be no election in 39 constituencies where incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) and aspirants are contesting unopposed while six aspirants in the primaries have been disqualified for various reasons.

The affected persons included Alhaji Ibrahim Dori (Bawku Central); Dr King Suleiman Dima Bachiesichang (Sissala East); Alhaji Abubakar Mohammed Rabiyu (Salaga North); Maxwell Okah Okai (Agona East); Raphael Parku and Kwame Aduhene Kwarteng, both for Juaboso constituencies.

The polls, which will be held under the auspices of the Electoral Commission (EC) in conjunction with the party’s Electoral Committee, is expected to be under tight security to forestall unforeseen circumstances while the delegates and aspirants should exercise restraint and conduct themselves in the best manner by not campaigning around the voting centre, aspirants will not be allowed at the centre if they come with more than three supporters, also music and merry making within 500km from the polling centre will not be allowed.

The Appeal Committee of the party has upheld 17 petitions challenging the qualifications of aspirants in 14 constituencies across the country arising out of the vetting of aspirants however; more aspirants have been cleared to contest in the primaries.

The Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency in the Upper West Region, will for the first time since 1996, have a new face representing the party on the ballots, the current Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin has represented his constituents in parliament and the NDC must now find a favourable replacement for the lawmaker as he retires from the legislature after more than two decades. The NDC is confident it will elect a ‘winnable’ candidate to contest the parliamentary election in the 2020 polls.

Constituencies to engage in stiff contest include the Mingo-Prampram, Adentan and Madina constituencies in the Greater Accra Region, Buem constituency in the Oti Region, Yunyoo constituency in the Savannah North, Hohoe, Ketu South Keta constituencies, all in the Volta Region, Tamale in the Northern Region and Wa West in the Upper West Region.

According to the General Secretary of the NDC, Asiedu Nketia, the party had decided to tackle the constituencies in batches instead of approaching the election from contesting first in ‘orphan constituencies’ and those with sitting Members of Parliament or vice versa which was grounded in the party’s constitution.

He stressed that constituencies where the party does not have sitting MPs, elections would be conducted and selection of constituencies into batches depended on the specific circumstances that existed within each constituency and was hopeful constituencies with challenges would be resolved amicably for election to be conducted since there are ongoing processes.

“It will be prejudicial to proceed with election when the Conflict Resolution Committee has not delivered its verdict in constituencies where there are challenges, circumstances where delegates may confront issues should report to the party’s electoral committee or the regional officer designated to supervise the election at the polling station.

“National Voters ID card or any national ID card, the party’s ID card will be the primary document for identification with all branches registers will be assembled at the voting centres for the purposes of verifying the particulars of voters, where there will be doubts about identify,” Mr Nketia indicated and warned that “no voter will be allowed to take pictures of thumbprinted ballots and any activity that will disrupt the election.”

BY WINSTON TAMAKLOE

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