The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called off tomorrow’s run-off scheduled to break the tie between two flagbearer hopefuls; Francis Addai-Nimoh and Boakye Kyerematen Agyarko.
This, follows the withdrawal of Mr Agyarko from the race in a letter sent to the NPP National Council.
“We take notice of your decision to withdraw from the contest and therefore the run-off election scheduled for Saturday, September 2, 2023, will no longer be held,” Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, Chairman of the NPP’s Presidential Elections Committee, said in a letter addressed to Boakye Agyarko.
The run-off was being organised to break the tie between Mr Agyarko and Mr Addai-Nimoh to decide who would join the four aspirants in the party’s November 4 presidential primary.
Boakye Agyarko, refrained from the run-off after accusing the party of breaching provisions of their constitution.
“I refuse to be a part of such an act that seeks to unjustly truncate a previously agreed upon process, and cannot be part of what is about to be done on Saturday, 2nd September 2023. I cannot, with a clear conscience make such an impermissible concession to such an errant decision. I, therefore, respectfully, serve this notice to refrain from such a contest. As always, I wish the party well,” he said in a letter addressed to Prof. Oquaye on August 31, 2023.
The NPP held a super delegates conference last on August 26 to reduce its flagbearer hopefuls from ten to five.
At the end of the polls, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia won the super delegates conference with a total of 629 votes, representing 68.15percent of the vote.
Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong came in second with 132 votes (14.30%) while former Trade Minister Alan Kyerematen placed third with 95 votes (10.29%). Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto placed fourth with 36 votes (3.90%).
The NPP, had billed a run-off tomorrow, Saturday, September 2, to decide the fate of Boakye Agyarko and Francis Addai-Nimoh, after both presidential candidates secured nine (9) votes each.
Although, the persons who voted during the August 26 special delegates conference were expected to take part in the run-off, the party later announced that only members of its National Council will vote in the exercise.
According to the party, the decision is to save time and cost, adding that it will be held at its headquarters at Asylum Down in Accra.
Mr Agyarko was, however, unhappy with such a decision. His withdrawal follows the NPP’s decision to convene its National Council as an electoral college to resolve the tie between Agyarko and his fellow competitor, Francis Addai Nimoh, both of whom secured fifth place in the recently concluded super delegate conference.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Presidential Elections Committee of the NPP, Prof. Oquaye,
Mr Agyarko criticized the move, stating that the National Council’s shortlisting of a few individuals to represent the larger body of 955 participants from the first round of voting last Saturday was unconstitutional. He further argued that establishing a new electoral college also violates the party’s constitution.
Expressing his concern, the former Energy Minister stated, “It is totally unacceptable to me that such an unconstitutional act can be perpetuated on the altar of expediency. It is unconscionable that the rules of the game will be changed midstream.”
He continued, “Rules and regulations that are flip-flopped in such a manner are only detrimental to fair play and justice. It is a clear violation of the party’s constitution and the guidelines for the Special Electoral College. It is an unconstitutional act which I cannot allow myself to be associated with.”
Given these objections, Mr Agyarko, concluded that he could not, in good conscience, participate in an electoral process that deviates from an initially agreed-upon procedure.
“I, therefore, respectfully serve this notice to refrain from such a contest. As always, I wish the party well,” Agyarko affirmed.
During the NPP’s Super Delegates Conference held on August 26, four presidential aspirants secured spots for the upcoming contest on November 4.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, came first, followed by Kennedy Agyapong.
Surprisingly, the conference, which aimed to select five candidates, saw a tie for fifth place. Both Francis Addai Nimoh and Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko garnered nine votes each, prompting the decision to hold a run-off election slated for September 2, 2023.
“In light of your withdrawal, the aspirants who will contest in the November 4 election are as follows: Mahamudu Bawumia; Ken Ohene Agyapong; Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen; Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Francis Addai-Nimoh,” Mr Oquaye said in the letter.
Prof. Oquaye, extended the party’s appreciation to Mr Agyarko for his engagement and communication on the matter and noted that the Committee remained committed to transparency and fairness in all aspects of its work.
Meanwhile, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei Owusu, has tipped Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to win the November 4 presidential primaries of the governing NPP with over 68percent in the Delegates’ Conference.
The Vice President, who is eyeing to lead the NPP into the 2024 general elections, garnered an overwhelming 68.15percent of the vote in a Special Delegates’ Conference held on August 26.
Close contenders such as Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong and former Trades Minister Alan Kyerematen obtained 14.30% and 10.29% of the vote, respectively, to place second and third.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of the launch of Professor Kwesi Yankah’s book titled, “The Pen At Risk, Spilling My Little Beans”, the Bekwai MP stressed the Vice President’s imminent victory.
He added that Dr Bawumia is the most popular candidate that Ghanaians yearn for to lead the country.
“Five people were elected, which was the expected result, right? I’m surprised that the Vice President got a lower vote than we had expected. But there’s no doubt he will win. People are talking about a small number, but on the ground, he’s even more popular than the party’s people. Among them, Dr Bawumia is more popular than anyone else. They love him. I come to my constituency, and every day people love him.”
“For me, representing them, I have no choice but to vote for him. It’s not just about us, but the people on the ground, in the communities, and in constituencies, they love him. At the very least, he will come with the same margin he won, but we expect it to be more.”
Joseph Osei Owusu, also dismissed vote-buying allegations made by some camps of other aspirants.
“In the days when I was growing up, if you made an allegation, you went out to look for evidence to support it.
So it’s all about people saying, ‘Oh, these people gave out money.’ But nobody has provided any evidence, no substance. And it’s a real pity. It’s most unbecoming of the contestants and their supporters to be throwing out allegations which are not substantiated.”