The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has released the list of candidates contesting the 2020 primaries in constituencies where the party has sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), slated for Saturday, June 20.
In the 168 such constituencies, 375 aspirants will contest in only 101 constituencies, while 65 candidates will go unopposed.
Three constituencies have also been suspended from the primaries due to certain developments which have cropped up in those areas.
They are Kwadaso in the Ashanti Region, Gushegu in the Northern Region and Dormaa Central in the Bono Region.
Addressing a press conference to announce the decision by the party in Accra yesterday, the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu, stressed that there would be no elections in constituencies where candidates were unopposed.
He, however, said delegates in such constituencies would be required to converge on their various electoral areas to be addressed by the candidates.
He said those constituencies would include Krachi West, an orphan constituency in the Oti Region, since it also joined the list of constituencies with unopposed candidates.
Mr Boadu said the primaries would be conducted in strict compliance with the COVID-19 health protocols.
“Accordingly, the party, while making sure there are not more than 100 people congregated at a voting centre, will also be making available alcohol-based hand sanitisers at each polling centre for delegates to sanitise their hands before participating in the polls,” he said.
In addition, he said, the party had also procured nose masks which shall be given to every delegate to ensure his or her protection against the spread of the virus.
Modalities for the elections
Giving the modalities, the General Secretary said the primaries would be held on electoral area basis, per the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) designation.
He, however, said the members of the Constituency Council of Elders, the Constituency Executive Committee, as well as the party’s founding members who were signatories to the registration document of the party at the EC, would all be accredited to vote at the Constituency Secretariat.
Mr Boadu said voting would commence at 7 a.m. and end at 1 p.m., adding that counting would be done immediately after the close of polls at each Electoral Area Polling Centre and the Constituency Secretariat Polling Centre.
Touching on voting offences, he said an attempt to vote more than once at the primaries, buying or selling votes, compelling a delegate to vote in a particular way and obstructing any person from freely exercising his of her right to vote were prohibited.
He added that delegates were also barred from taking pictures of their marked ballot papers or displaying them to make it known to others who they voted for.
Mr Boadu further advised candidates to campaign on issues and refrain from levelling unsubstantiated allegations, personal attacks and vilifications against their opponents.
“No candidate shall undertake any activity that will polarise that constituency along tribal, religious and other factional lines. Candidates shall also require their supporters not to engage in any of these activities,” he stressed.
He added that disputes arising out of the voting process would be referred to the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee for amicable resolution.
The General Secretary also indicated that the party was completely appalled by the conduct of some party members who were said to have invoked curses on the party leadership and the members of the National Executive Committee on allegations that their preferred candidates had been disqualified from contesting in the primaries.
“Accordingly, the party is instructing the respective executives in the constituencies where these unfortunate incidents happened to immediately suspend all those involved in this awkward behaviour, while instituting appropriate disciplinary actions against them, in line with Article 3 of the party’s constitution,” he stressed.