The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has issued a fiat that the party will not allow delegates in the upcoming primary to enter the polling booth with phones.
The General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic said the order was to arrest the situation where delegates cast their votes and took shots of the ballot paper as evidence to show to their preferred candidates as proof of their fidelity.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic at the party’s headquarters in Accra on the state of preparedness for the primary slated for Saturday, August 24, 2019, Mr Asiedu Nketia said: “I can say we are sufficiently prepared to ensure that the elections take place in the various designated constituencies.”
Primary in designated constituencies
Explaining what he meant by “designated constituencies”, the General Secretary said, “I say designated constituencies because the elections will not take place in all the 275 constituencies.”
He went further to say this time around, the party decided that instead of approaching the elections from the angle of doing orphan constituencies first before tackling the constituencies with Members of Parliament (MPs) or vice versa as the NPP was doing, “we have decided that we will tackle the constituencies in batches, and so the first batch is ready”.
The selection of constituencies into batches, he said, was contingent on the specific circumstances that existed within each constituency.
“So while some of the constituencies in places where we have sitting MPs will be voting on August 24, there are other constituencies where we do not even have sitting MPs, but the elections will still take place at the same time,” he explained.
Circumstances and constitution
Mr Asiedu Nketia said there were some constituencies with sitting MPs where elections would not take place, adding, “So we look at the circumstances in each constituency and then we clear it for the elections to take place.”
He said the decision to do things that way was grounded in the party’s constitution.
“In our constitution, we do not have a provision for organising all the primaries in all the constituencies at the same time, but we still do not have any provision that bars us from doing so.
So we have the space to stagger the elections the way we think will project the objectives of the party forward, and that is what we are doing now,” he stressed.
Constituencies with challenges
Responding to constituencies with challenges such as the Asawase Constituency, Mr Asiedu Nketia responded that “as long as the challenges with some constituencies have not been resolved, those constituencies will be put on hold”.
He said there were ongoing processes aimed at resolving those issues with those constituencies and as soon as they were resolved, “we will clear them and make the necessary pronouncements”.