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Opinions of Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Columnist: Ghana Politico

NPP primaries - wait for end of district assembly elections before ........


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The National Executive Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has just announced the modalities for the selection of the Party’s Parliamentary candidates for the December 7, 2016 general elections.

Ghana Politico in an article published on the Ghanaweb on February 6, 2015 advised the National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to rush to elect its Parliamentary candidates this year, 2015. Ghana Politico observed that in the midst of “dumsor dumsor” and other economic challenges facing the country, it would not be advisable for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to elect its Parliamentary candidates for the 2016 general elections this year.

Again, Ghana Politico emphasized that currently, the nation is in a great crisis in terms of non-functioning electricity, high fuel prices, weak economy, weak cedi against major foreign currencies, poor infrastructural development, among others. As the party in charge of governance, it is imperative for the NDC as a party and government to concentrate and solve the current problems facing the country, especially the energy (dumsor-dumsor) crisis before even thinking of selecting its Parliamentary candidates for next year’s general elections.

On the other hand, same cannot be said of the NPP which is in opposition. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has no problem organizing early parliamentary primaries because the party has no stewardship to account to Ghanaians. However, Ghana Politico is advising the NPP to wait for the district assembly elections to be held before embarking on the exercise of electing its Parliamentary candidates for the 2016 elections.

In other words, the timing for the NPP parliamentary primaries is very bad. If the district assembly and unit committee election had been held on March 3, 2015, the time table put out by the NPP National Executive Committee would have been perfect one. As at now nobody knows when the district assembly and unit committee election are going to be held. Any political analyst can easily foresee that NPP is treading on a political suicide. Why? Because if the problems surrounding the district assembly elections are solved and the time for the elections coincides with the NPP primaries, then the party is doomed. Aspiring district assembly candidates would be seriously campaigning and this would disrupt NPP’s process of selecting its Parliamentary candidates.

Even though the district assembly and unit committee elections are non-partisan, every serious minded political observer would testify that the two main political parties in Ghana, NDC and NPP, are seriously supporting candidates for the local level elections.

Ghana Politico is at a loss why the National Executive Committee of the NPP did not anticipate that if the Electoral Commission (EC) sets the new date for the district assembly and unit committee elections at the same time the NPP is in the process of selecting its Parliamentary candidates, there would be a problem for the party.

Imagine that the EC sets the new date for the local government elections in May, NPP members who are also candidates for the district assembly elections would definitely have divided attention, especially, if they are delegates for the parliamentary primaries. Ghana Politico is, therefore, advising the National Executive Committee of the NPP to shelve its plan to hold its parliamentary primaries in May this year. The party must wait for the end of the district assembly and unit committee elections, whether in May or September this year before considering going ahead with its Parliamentary primaries.

By the way, is Ghc 30,000 (10,000 filing fees and 20,000 development fees) not too much for an aspiring candidate for a constituency with a sitting Member of Parliament? Just a little over six years out of government, NPP is so broke that new contestants in constituencies with sitting MPs are being forced to vomit Ghc 30,000 before they can contest. In other words, if you aspire to become an NPP MP and you possess all the qualities to become an MP but you do not have 30,000 Ghana “Baladjoa”, then forget and continue to be a foot soldier for the Party. Eei! NPP parliamentary seat for sale at 300 million old Ghana Cedis. Haba! This is outrageous. There is too much “monecracy” in NPP internal elections. WHY?

This should be a lesson for the NDC and the other political parties.

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