The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has finally approved timelines for its presidential and parliamentary primaries for the 2024 general elections with some rather interesting arrangements which is likely to spark more troubles including mass resignations and high number of independent parliamentary candidates.
The Herald, from a statement dated April 3, 2023 issued by the General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, noted long periods – whole month- for the filing of the nominations. This is thought to be a deliberate delay tactic to buy time for the Akufo-Addo government not to appear abandoned, especially its Members of Parliament (MP) to look weak and lame dark in the eyes of Ghanaians.
The party, has made a special provisions by pushing parliamentary primaries in constituencies with sitting NPP MPs to as far as 24th February 2024 long after what has vaguely been stated in the statement as a National Congress 4th of November 2023 which some think will be the date for the election of an NPP presidential candidate.
In what could create room for mass resignations from party executive positions leading to a high number of independent parliamentary candidates, as the statement said that “the National Council further barred National, Regional, Constituency party executives and MMDCEs from contesting in the Constituency where the party has sitting Members of Parliament”.
It disclosed that the party “at its National Executive Committee (NEC) and National Council meeting held on Monday, April 3, 2023, approved the timeline for holding presidential and parliamentary primaries of the party for the 2024 general elections.
For the presidential primaries, the party opens nomination on 26th May, 2023 and will close it on 24th June 2023.
Constituencies without NPP MPs otherwise known as “orphan constituencies” will have their nominations opened on 16th June 2023 to close on 14th July 2023 with elections held from the 1st August to 14th 2nd December 2023.
In the case of the Parliamentary primaries for constituencies with sitting NPP MPs, will have their nominations opened on 20th December, 2023 to close on 4th January 2024 while elections are held on 24th February 2024.
The NPP has billed a National Congress 4th of November 2023 but not before the Special Electoral College Election on 26th August 2023.
The dates for the NPP elections had become a point of massive disagreement between the party, its MPs, flagbearer aspirants and the Presidency, Jubilee House.
While the party and the others wanted an early congress to elect its Presidential candidate in readiness for the December 2024 polls, President Nana Akufo-Addo and others felt this would weaken the government.
It feared that with a hung Parliament, NPP MPs who will lose their primaries will not want to participate in proceedings in the House including approval of crucial government bills among others.
Meanwhile, the statement added that “the party has also approved detailed rules and regulations to govern the conduct of the both the presidential and parliamentary primaries which would be made available to the public in due course.