NPP holds parliamentary primaries in ‘orphan constituencies’ today …Asawase on hold, 16 aspirants go unopposed

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) will today hold its parliamentary primaries in constituencies where it has no sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) known as ‘orphan constituencies’.

It is a novelty derived by the hierarchy of the party to ‘test the waters’ before primaries are organised for sitting MPs in January 2020 and presidential primary in aid of 2020.

The party lost the 2016 parliamentary election in 106 constituencies, out of the total number of 275 constituencies, elections will take place in 92 of them while 16 aspirants will be unopposed.

It opened nomination from July 20, to August 3, and aspiring parliamentary candidates were required to procure the forms after the payment of non-refundable application fee of GH₵20,000 in bankers draft in favour of the party. In order not to leave anyone behind and to encourage more women, youth and physically challenged persons to aspire to higher political office, the party pegged their fee at GH₵10,000. Members elected in these areas, will represent the party in the 2020 parliamentary election. these decisions were arrived at by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) in pursuant of Article 21 of the party’s constitution.

In furtherance of this, the National Council and the NEC, decided, pursuant to Article 13, also of the  party’s constitution and tasked its National Steering Committee which drew the guidelines and modalities for the novelty election to conduct both the parliamentary and presidential primaries.

Today’s parliamentary primaries will be held in 105 constituencies instead of 106 because primary will not be held in Asawase in the Ashanti Region due to a pending court case initiated by Manaf Ibrahim has necessitated the suspension.

The orphan constituencies are the strongholds of NPP political opponents, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) where the ruling party’s ‘political stakes’ will be high in those constituencies, those who will emerge winners will contest the NDC parliamentary candidates-elect where some of them were also declared unopposed since the NPP are in search of formidable candidates to penetrate the strongholds of their political opponents according to the hierarchy of the party, some of the seats a winnable but will demand a united front, trust and confidence to claim those seats devoid of ‘boardroom’ wrangling.

The aspiring candidates are leaving no stone unturned  after criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country to intensify their campaigns in their bid to win the trust and confidence of the delegates to win the seats in 2020 elections after winning their primaries. The aspirants claim they are preferred candidates to lead the NPP into the 2020 elections because of their loyalty, supportive to the cause of the party, trusted members of the party, approachable, end dominance of NDC in those constituencies, influential, well connected and developmental –oriented.

The Police Administration have not be sidelined in today’s elections. At least 2,000 personnel have been deployed to maintain law, order and discipline in all the constituencies scheduled for the elections towards their success. They warned against party security and other sister security services engaged in the event including registered, unregistered motorcycles and miscreants to foment disturbances to ensure the work of the Electoral Commission went on smoothly.

The 16 appointed chairpersons by the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee for the regions by both the National Executive and the National Steering Committees proved to the task by ensuring a peaceful and transparent vetting devoid of mistrust and wrangling.

It is hoped that today’s parliamentary primaries will send positive signal towards primaries of sitting MPs and the hierarchy of the party has stated that the Album that was used to elect the current constituency executives at the 2018 constituency annual delegates conference will be the same that will be used for the Extraordinary Constituency Conference (Primaries) today allaying  fears of some delegates, aspirants and members of the elephant family.


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