Politics of Sunday, 25 May 2014
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Thursday, 22nd May, 2014, held a meeting to decide on when to open nominations for its presidential primary.
Per the party’s constitution, a flagbearer must be chosen 24 months before a general election and with that as the basis, the party decided to hold its primary by December 6, this year.
According to media reports, the NPP’s decision to go for ‘an early congress’ is to allow whoever gets elected enough time to campaign effectively; ahead of the 2016 general elections.
According to a Daily Guide newspaper publication on Friday, the General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, initially proposed July 7, 2014 leading to congress on or before December 6, 2014, but this was not accepted by the NEC which insisted on early congress to avoid a fractured party because of acrimonious campaign.
The proposal had opening of nomination on July 7, closing on July 13, while filing of nomination is between August 6 and 8, with congress for electing the presidential candidate in December 6, 2014.
This was said to have generated a debate among members of the body.
A member of the NEC was then said to have made another suggestion for nominations to be open on June 6, 2014 to allow for an early congress between August and October 2014.
Even though the majority of members of NEC were said to have supported the idea for the opening of nominations on June 6, the matter was said to have been deferred for a final decision to be taken by the National Council, the second highest decision-making body after congress.
Speaking to the debates that have arisen after the meeting which was held at the NPP headquarters in Accra, John Boadu, National Organiser of the party, dismissed reports that the proposed date means the party has opted for an ‘early’ congress. According to him, ‘it is rather late’.
He said the NPP constitution mandated the party to open nominations six months before the presidential primary and 24 months before national elections “and that is what we have done. It is a very late congress and not an early congress”.
He therefore asked the media to report factually and not publish inaccuracies or rumours.