Don’t handpick PCs – Amoako Tuffuor advises NPP NEC

A team of researchers, led by Dr Amoako Tuffuor, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have cautioned against plans by the National Executive Committee (NEC) to handpick parliamentary candidates for the party for the December 7 polls should the Coronavirus disease persist.

According to researchers, doing that would be undemocratic and may be disastrous for the party at the December 7, 2020 polls.

The governing party is yet to elect parliamentary candidates in the 169 of the 275 constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament. It had earlier elected candidates in the 106 constituencies where it does not have sitting lawmakers.

Though it scheduled 25th of April to elect the candidates, the process had to be postponed as a result of the ban on social gatherings as the country battles the Coronavirus disease.

“Assuming this gets worse such that it is impossible for us to have primaries at all and the EC insists, they can put in place some social distancing protocols to make it possible for us to vote on December 7. [But when] we can’t hold primaries due to ban on public gathering, the National Executive Committee of the party can take a decision as to who becomes a candidate in which constituency for our party.

“They are the final authority concerning who represents the party. Their decision will be made based on dynamics on the grounds, facts and our own arrangements,” General Secretary of the party, John Boadu is quoted by the statesman as saying.

But the researchers say, “It will be dangerous if the NEC or any other person or authority attempt to decree otherwise at this stage. If there should be a disagreement at NEC how do they choose.

“The right of choice is vested in the various eligible voters in the constituencies. No one should take the right to elect from them. That will be undemocratic,” the release signed by Dr Tuffuor said.

The researchers argued that if the election management body could put in place protocols to ensure a whole national elections, “why can’t the NPP think out relevant protocols” to hold the primaries.

Proffering solutions as to how the primaries could be held despite the ban on social gathering, the researchers said the party could programme the voting at zonal levels within the constituencies noting that “our research shows that by the zones there are about averagely 60 delegates per zone”.

“We can apply tents in open spaces etc. from which all Ghanaians, including the EC can learn lessons from the leading Democratic Party inGhana.”

All applicants, the researchers say have gone through all the processes including balloting and only awaiting voting and that the rules could not be changed in the middle of the game.

“It is too late in the day when the horses have left the stables to bring in new rules and apply new measures

“The elections are all set. All processes concluded and must be held at once to avoid fomenting unnecessary troubles. It is too late to introduce new rules into a completed process duly done by law established.”

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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