The constituency elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) takes off today with a total of 11,825 candidates competing for executive positions.
The candidates, who have already been vetted for the constituency elections, will be slugging it out for 7,728 positions in 276 constituencies, including Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) Constituency, which is yet to have representation in Parliament.
The decision to postpone the constituency elections in the Eastern Region to a later date has been rescinded. The hierarchy of the party earlier took the decision to conduct the constituency elections at a later date because its branch elections were delayed.
However, upon further consultations, the National Executives had to rescind the decision of the party in order to allow the elections to proceed as scheduled so as not to disappoint the delegates, members, supporters, sympathisers, faithful and well-wishers of the NDC.
The constituency elections will be conducted across the country to produce the next batch of NDC’s constituency executives. Branch executives and former government appointees of the party will be eligible to vote in the elections.
However, the eligible voters will be required to have paid their party dues in full before being allowed to cast their vote.Thus, the payment of dues before the elections will be an important requirement to declare a delegate as being in good standing in the party as their status as constituency executives and former appointees alone will not be enough.
According to the leadership of the NDC, the constituency elections follow the completion of elections at the branch level, the base of the party’s structure.
The party has 29,000 branches across the country and says it has settled all appeal cases concerning the elections but aggrieved persons who might still have concerns can direct their grievances to the appropriate quarters for redress.
All candidates are expected to abide by the rules of the elections and that those who do not win the contested positions will have to wait and take advantage of future election processes.
Although the party’s constitution empowers the constituency chairpersons to select venues for the elections, they were expected by the same constitution to do so in consultation with other executive members in the constituency.
Venues, per the party’s constitution, must be located in the constituency and that chairpersons who choose venues without consulting other executive members in the constituency will be held solely responsible for any unfortunate incidents that might arise during the elections.
“In some cases when a chairman is contesting again, that person may want to choose a venue somewhere, hoping, for instance, to bring some macho men to help him win.
“Some of the places may not even have phone reception. If you do that and there is violence, you will be held solely responsible as chairman,” according to a press conference the national executive held on Wednesday.
Security is expected to be beefed up at all the centres across the country where voting is taking place.
The elections, which is expected to be fiercely contested, will be supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC) and the outcome will give the NDC fresh impetus to prepare for Election 2024.
The constituency elections precede the regional ones. Already, nominations for the regional elections of the party have closed and vetting of candidates has also concluded.
The NDC has, however, opened limited room for appeals to pave the way for the regional elections to pass smoothly next month.
Besides, stalwarts of the party will soon file their nominations to contest for national executive positions on December 17, this year, all things being equal, elections which promise to be hotly contested.
BY TIMES REPORTER