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Politics of Thursday, 30 April 2020

Source: The Daily Statesman

NPP NEC may handpick parliamentary candidates if coronavirus stays longer – John Boadu

John Boadu, NPP General Secretary John Boadu, NPP General Secretary

The General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has hinted that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party may handpick parliamentary candidates for the 2020 elections, should the party be unable to hold primaries due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Boadu, in a media interview that has since gone viral on social media, said the party’s NEC is clothed with the power to decide who represents the party as a parliamentary candidate, saying that may be an option on the table.

“Assuming this gets worse such that it is impossible for us to have primaries at all, and the EC insist they can put in place some social distancing protocols to make it possible for us to vote on December 7, and we can’t hold primaries due to ban on public gathering, the National Executive Committee of the party can take a decision as to who becomes a candidate in which constituency for our party. They are the final authority concerning who represents the party. Their decision will be made based on dynamics on the grounds, facts and our own arrangements,” he said.

One decision to the other

“If you check the election calendar, you have 30-90 days to file for the elections; so the EC determines when to file, so that will enable us to make a decision. So if, for instance, filing day for us is in early September, it means if things remain the same or get worse in June, July or August, then NEC will devise a way of determining who represents the NPP,” he added.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) suspended its parliamentary primaries, which was originally scheduled for April 25 2020, to elect parliamentary candidates in constituencies where the party has sitting Members of Parliament.

The decision to suspend the primaries was taken at a NEC meeting held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020. According to the party, the decision was premised on the ban on social gatherings as part of national efforts towards the containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.

MP steps down

Mr Boadu also disclosed that the Member of Parliament for Fomena, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, has rescinded his decision to seek for re-election. According to the NPP General Secretary, the party’s NEC now has to make a decision on the said seat. “I have even received a letter from Fomena MP that he will not contest, so the emphasis is that the NEC has the right to determine who represents the NPP,” he said.

Already, the party has declared “no primaries” in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, making the MP for the area, Lydia Alhassan, the party’s automatic candidate for the 2020 election.