NPP opens nominations for primaries amid calls for the party rules to work Featured

By By Kwasi Frimpong January 21, 2020 2931 1564 comments

The governing New Patriotic Party opened nominations yesterday for its 2020 presidential and parliamentary primaries, scheduled for April 25.

According to the NPP general secretary, John Boadu, who made the announcement, aspiring presidential candidates will be required to pay GHC200,000 by way of a filing fee together with a non-refundable application fee of GHC20,000 for a nomination form.

The presidential nomination forms will be available through the office of the general secretary, he also said. Thereafter, “A presidential vetting committee (PVC) shall be established to examine and vet the candidature of every aspirant for the presidential nomination of the party to ensure that such person qualifies to contest for the office of the President of the Republic.”

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Aspiring parliamentary candidates, on the other hand, will pay a non-refundable filing fee of GHC20,000 and a GHC2,000 application fee.

Mr Boadu further announced that “all aspiring parliamentary candidates, other than sitting Members of Parliament, shall pay a party development fee of GHC30,000”.

“However, women, youth and persons with disabilities will enjoy a rebate of 50 per cent on the filing fees and development levy. By this, they will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of GHC27,000,” he said.

Let your work speak

Meanwhile, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a private legal practitioner and leading member of the NPP, has asked incumbent MPs who appear to be seeking “protection” from contests to allow their work to speak for them.

Mr Otchere-Darko’s call follows a similar admonition by a founding member of the party, Kwame Amoako Tuffour, who has challenged sitting MPs, especially those in the Ashanti Region, to open themselves up to contest if they believe they have indeed performed in office.

Speaking on the Kumasi-based Fox FM, Dr Tuffour, a member of the party’s National Council of Elders, wondered if the current MPs would have become MPs if they had not stood against others in the past.

He said that if the current MPs have delivered as they profess, they will be retained by their polling station executives.

He insisted that a decision to allow other candidates to run against the sitting lawmakers is so that peace will prevail.

Call for “unopposed”

There were rumours recently that the Ashanti Regional chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako (popularly known as Chairman Wontumi), had pencilled in some constituencies as places where there will be no primaries.

It was reported that Chairman Wontumi made the suggestion at an extraordinary meeting in Kumasi of the NPP’s top regional leadership. The reports have not been confirmed.

The MP for Bantama, Daniel Okyem Aboagye, is also said to have knelt down in front of the regional chairman to seek his support to “go unopposed”.

Mr Okyem Aboagye’s action is reported to have occurred at a meeting with constituency and polling station executives as well as electoral area co-ordinators. The meeting was reportedly chaired by the second national vice-chairman of the NPP, Frederick Fredua Antoh.

Respect the rules

However, the call for “protection of MPs” has since been refuted by Mr Antoh. He said there are rules governing the party’s primaries and that no individual can take a decision to allow any incumbent to “go unopposed”.

Mr Otchere-Darko, who shares Mr Antoh’s view, said in a post on social media that one of the ways to “protect” the MPs is to allow the party’s rules guiding the conduct of primaries to work.

“The only way to protect MPs in primaries is by their own deeds, persuasion and the established rules of the game,” Mr Otchere-Darko said. According him, “Any attempt to do otherwise will be unwise.”



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