FULL TEXT: John Boadu outlines guidelines for party’s 2020 Parliamentary Primaries
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press
The essence of this Press Conference is to spell out the guidelines and modalities for the conduct of the Party’s Parliamentary Primaries in the 168 Constituencies where the NPP has sitting Members of Parliaments (MPs) to elect Parliamentary Candidates for the 2020 General Elections. We would also be updating you on developments regarding the Party’s Presidential Primaries.
In the light of this, the statement is structured to include Guidelines on Polling Day; Parliamentary Primaries in Constituencies With Unopposed Candidates; Publication of names of Candidates cleared by NEC to contest in the Primaries; Primaries in a remaining Orphan Constituency; Update on Presidential Primaries and some disciplinary matters.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it would be recalled that the Party, at a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held on Wednesday, the 3rd of June, 2020, agreed to hold its 2020 Parliamentary Primaries on SATURDAY, JUNE, 20, 2020, in all the Constituencies where the party has sitting MPs with the exception of Ayawaso West Wougon.
At the said meeting, the Party considered the Reports of the various National Parliamentary Vetting Committees and the National Parliamentary Appeals Committee on the status of all Aspiring Parliamentary Candidates, which Reports were largely accepted by NEC except in few instances.
Thus far, all these processes that have been rolled out are in line with the Rules and Regulations published by the Party on January 16, 2020, for the conduct of the 2020 Parliamentary Primaries. However, owing to the Covid-19 situation in the country, the Party was compelled to reconsider some of the Rules particularly the date for the Primaries which had to be postponed following the Covid-19 restrictions. All is now set for the Primaries subject to the following guidelines and modalities.
The Party wishes to emphasize that the Primaries shall be conducted in strict compliance with the Covid-19 health protocols announced by His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo. Accordingly, the Party, while making sure that not more than 100 people congregate at a voting centre, will also be making available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers at each polling centre for delegates to sanitize their hands before participating in the polls. Equally, the Party has procured nose masks which shall be given to every delegate.
GUIDELINES AND MODALITIES FOR THE PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES
Voting Day Regulations:
1) The Primaries shall be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020 on Electoral Area basis per the Electoral Commission’s designation
2) Voting shall be supervised by the Electoral Commission of Ghana assisted by the respective National Parliamentary Vetting Committees
3) Delegates shall comprise all Polling Station executives; all Constituency Executives; 5 members of the Constituency Council of Elders; 5 members of the Constituency Council of Patrons; as well as any founding member of the Party from the Constituency, who was a signatory to the registration document of the Party at the Electoral Commission.
4) The five (5) members of the Constituency Council of Elders; the five (5) members of the Constituency Council of Patrons; all the members of the Constituency Executive Committee; as well as the Party’s Founding members who were signatories to the registration document of the Party at the Electoral Commission shall all be accredited to vote at the Constituency Secretariat.
5) The Polling Station Executives and the Electoral Area Coordinators shall be accredited to vote at the Electoral Area voting centre.
6) The Constituency Album which has been broken down into Electoral Area Album shall be used to identify all delegates who are eligible to vote in their respective Electoral Areas.
7) Delegates will be required to produce an NPP Membership ID Card or any other recognized National ID card to entitle them to vote
8) Proxy voters shall be accredited delegates in the Constituency
9) Voting starts at 7 am and ends at 1pm
10) Each delegate will be required to thumbprint in front of his or her preferred Candidate on the ballot paper that will be issued
11) A Ballot Paper will not be counted if:
a) it does not bear the official validating stamp of the Commission.
b) it is not thumb printed by the delegate to clearly identify the preferred candidate he/she is casting the vote for.
c) it is not thumb printed at all
d) it is thumb-printed more than one candidate on the ballot paper.
e) it is thumb-printed in such a way that the choice of the delegate is not clear.
f) it has mark(s) that identifies who the delegate is not clearly defined.
12) Counting & Declaration of Results:
a) Counting of ballot will be done immediately after the close of Polls at each Electoral Area Polling Centre and at the Constituency Secretariat Polling Centre
b) Ballot will be counted and declared by the EC Presiding Officer in the presence of Candidates’ Agents.
c) Counting shall not begin until after 1pm
d) Each Candidate will be represented by One (1) Polling Agent at each Voting Center (i.e. Electoral Area).
e) The results of each Electoral Area Polling Centre and that of the Constituency Secretariat Polling Station will all be collated at the Constituency Secretariat which shall be the Constituency Collation Centre.
f) Only Candidates and their Agents (1 each) will be allowed entry at the Constituency Collation Centre
g) The Electoral Commission’s District Officer at the Constituency Secretariat will do the final declaration of results for the Constituency Primaries.
13) Voting Offences:
It is an offence to:
a) vote or attempt to vote more than once at the primaries.
b) buy or sell a vote
c) compel somebody to vote in a particular way
d) obstruct a delegate from freely exercising his or her right to vote
e) display your marked ballot paper in such a way as to make it known to others the candidate you are voting for.
f) take photo of how he/she voted in any particular way.
14) Code of Conduct for Candidates
a) Candidates shall cease all forms of campaign activities by midnight (12 am) of June 19, 2020
b) Candidates shall campaign on issues and refrain from leveling unsubstantiated allegations, personal attacks and vilifications against their opponents
c) No candidate shall undertake any activity that will polarize the Constituency along tribal, religious and other factional lines. Candidates shall also require their supporters not to engage in any of these activities
15) Disputes arising out of the voting process shall be referred the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee for amicable resolution
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
16) Guidelines for Constituencies with Unopposed Candidates
a) There shall not be elections in Constituencies where there are unopposed Candidates.
b) Delegates in these Constituencies will however be required to converge at the Electoral Area or Zonal Level for Candidates to address them.
c) The Venue for this meeting shall be determined by the National Parliamentary Vetting Committee for each Region in consultation with the sole Candidate to smoothen the process based on situation-specific dynamics
d) This process is not subject to Regulation (1) and Regulation (9) of these guidelines. This means it can be held in more than a day, and does not also have to start from 7am to 1pm.
17) Constituencies where Primaries have been suspended
a) Constituency Primaries in the Kwadaso Constituency in the Ashanti Region have been suspended till further notice
b) Constituency Primaries in the Gushegu Constituency in the Northern Region have been suspended till further notice
c) Constituency Primaries in the Dormaa Central Constituency in the Bono Region have been suspended till further notice
18) Primaries for outstanding ‘Orphan Constituency’
a) Constituency Primaries shall be held in the Krachi West Constituency of the Oti Region
b) The Primaries shall be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
c) Primaries in the Krachi West Constituency shall be conducted in accordance with Regulation (16) above since there is only one Candidate.
CANDIDATES THAT HAVE BEEN CLEARED BY THE PARTY’S NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) TO CONTEST IN THE PARLIAMENTARY PRIMARIES
Following the General Secretary’s report to National Council at its meeting on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, to the effect that at the close of the Party’s Presidential Nomination, only one Candidate, in the person of H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, filed to contest in the 2020 Presidential Candidate, the National Council resolved to acclaim the sole Candidate. Consequent to this, the Party will soon announce a date for the acclamation of the Presidential Candidate.
The Party has observed, rather worryingly, the conduct of some members claiming to be invoking curses on the Party Leadership and in particular, on members of NEC on allegations that their preferred Candidates have been disqualified by NEC from contesting in the Primaries. We are completely appalled by such gross misconduct.
Accordingly, the Party is instructing the respective Constituency Executives in the Constituencies where this unfortunate incident happened, to immediately suspend all those involved in this awkward behavior while instituting appropriate disciplinary actions against them in line with Article 3 and 4 of the Party Constitution.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, the Party wishes to stress that any aspiring parliamentary candidate who flouts any of the above guidelines and modalities or conducts him/herself in a manner that brings the Party’s name into disrepute shall be deemed to have breached Article 4(7) of the NPP constitution and will, accordingly, be sanctioned including being disqualified from contesting in the Primaries.
Finally, while wishing all prospective aspiring parliamentary candidates the best of luck in the Parliamentary Primaries, the party hopes and anticipates that these prospective aspiring candidates, together with their supporters, would adhere strictly to these rules of engagements in their own interest and in the supreme interest of the party.