Our press briefing for today, ladies and gentlemen, shall focus on the party’s internal elections including developments regarding the just ended polling station elections held across the country from February 19 to March 5, 2022. We would also outline the rules and regulations for the next phase of the internal elections, which is the conduct of the party’s Electoral Area Coordinators’ elections, as approved by the National Council, at its meeting of January 27, 2022.
REVIEW OF POLLING STATION ELECTIONS
The Party, having monitored the conduct of the polling station elections held across the country, observed with grave concerns and revulsion, the pockets of disturbances including in some cases, verbal attacks and physical confrontations witnessed in some of the constituencies. Without mincing words, the Party, once again, condemns all such unfortunate acts and misconducts which have sought to bring the name of the Party into disrepute.
As a disciplined and law-abiding political tradition, we expect all our members to use the Party’s laid down grievance and dispute procedures to seek amicable resolutions to their grievances rather than resorting to such unorthodox means which only brings embarrassment to all of us.
Beyond the dispute and grievance procedures enshrined in Article 4 of the Party Constitution, the Party, in issuing the rules and regulations for the conduct of the polling station elections, incorporated detailed and comprehensive redress mechanisms for the aggrieved party members.
The Party provided in the rules and regulations that no interested party member should be denied access to the purchase of Nomination Forms by the Polling Station elections committee, and where same is denied in gross violation of this express rule, that aggrieved member may, through a petition, purchase Nomination Form at the Regional or National Secretariat of the Party.
The Party made adequate preparations for the exercise and also made available Nomination Forms, at least, 25 Nomination Forms were sent to each polling station across the country. So, the argument cannot be one of shortage of Nomination Forms but the desire on the part of some party officers and members to honor these rules and regulations in the breach rather than in the observance. The Party has also commissioned internal investigative processes in respect of these disturbances and all persons found culpable shall be disciplined in accordance with the Party’s regulations.
In the specific case of the disturbances witnessed at Fomena including the painting of the Party Office with NDC colors, the Party takes a serious view of this gross misconduct which is not only reprehensible but also an affront to the very dignity of the Party. Accordingly, the Party is taking immediate steps to expel all the persons behind this ungodly act from the Party, of course, through due process.
The point must be made that the Party has not yet decided on the modalities for holding polling station primaries in Fomena and the other 9 constituencies where polling station primaries were suspended owing to one reason or another.
So, in Fomena, for instance, the Party is yet to take a decision on the date of opening nomination, date of vetting, date of publication of vetting results, and date of holding the polling station elections in that constituency. This would be done and communicated in due course.
That being the case, the Party certainly did not and could not have sent Nomination Forms to Fomena for the conduct of the elections, let alone, to have handed over all such Forms to the Independent Member of Parliament, as alleged, which then erroneously formed the basis for the disturbances witnessed at the Constituency including the painting of the Party office with NDC colors. Like I intimated, all those behind this untoward act will be dealt with severely.
It is also worth making the point that, the National executives have also been holding meetings with the members of the polling station elections committee and MPs in constituencies where there are issues which have been brought to our attention, with the view to resolving same. Where it was established that members of the elections committee had not acquitted themselves as required by the rules and regulations, the Party is holding them accountable, and in some cases, we have directed a complete overhaul of the committee ahead of the Electoral Area Coordinators Elections.
It is instructive to make the point that, much as, as observed, pockets of disturbances and ugly scenes were witnessed in some constituencies which the Party condemns unreservedly, the process across the country was largely successful. Indeed, out of the 263 Constituencies where polling station primaries have been held, we have seen these worrying developments in some 15 constituencies. So, the impression should not be created that the entire process across the country was fraught with challenges.
And like I intimated, the Party is currently conducting investigations in these constituencies, and where the situation so demands, we may order a re-run of the polling station elections in the affected constituencies, in which case, we may send people from National to supervise the process.
The Party has also given directives to the various chairpersons of all the Polling Stations and Electoral Area Elections Committees, to submit a comprehensive report, detailing all that transpired relative to the conduct of the just-ended polling stations elections. This is a condition precedent that has to be fulfilled before the Committee will be cleared to conduct the Electoral Area Coordinators elections.
CONDUCT OF ELECTORAL AREA ELECTIONS
As earlier published by the Party, Electoral Area Coordinators elections shall be held from the 18th of March to 20th of March, 2022. At this phase of the internal elections, the Party, in order to increase access to Nomination Forms, has resolved to upload the Forms for the Electoral Area elections on the Party’s website for interested members to download for free. Forms can be downloaded via the link: newpatrioticparty.org/npp-form. The Nomination Forms can also be downloaded from the official social media platforms of the Party including the Party’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Members who download the Forms will however be required to submit the completed Nomination Forms to the respective Polling Stations and Electoral Area Elections Committee, whereupon they would be required to pay the cost of filing, which is GHc50. Notwithstanding the resort to this online system, at least 5 hard copies of the Nomination Forms will also be made available at each Electoral Area, for interested members.
The Party also wishes to emphasize that for purposes of this electoral area elections, no new electoral areas shall be created in any constituency. Accordingly, the existing Electoral Areas shall be maintained, in spite of any provisions to the contrary.
RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR THE CONDUCT OF ELECTORAL AREA COORDINATORS ELECTIONS
With reference to Article 5(4) of the NPP Constitution that provides that the Polling Station Executives in each Electoral Area shall elect the Electoral Area Coordinator, as well as Article 18 on guidelines for the operations of the Party at all levels, the following Rules and Regulations have been made by the National Council of the NPP for the conduct of the Party’s Electoral Area Coordinators Elections:
- The Electoral Area Elections shall be held from March 18 to March 20, 2022
- There shall be constituted, a Polling Station and Electoral Area Elections Committee to oversee the organization of the Electoral Area Coordinators Elections in each Constituency.
- The Polling Station and Electoral Area Elections Committee shall be constituted as follows:
a) One Regional Representative appointed by the Regional Executive Committee who shall be the Chair;
b) The Constituency Chairman;
c) The Constituency Secretary who shall be the Secretary to the committee
d) The Constituency Research and Elections officer;
e) The Constituency Council of Elders Chairman or his Representative
f) The Constituency Council of Patrons Chairman or his Representative
g) The Constituency I.T Officer
h) The Member of Parliament or his Representative
i) An elderly woman appointed by the Constituency Executive Committee
- For the avoidance of doubt, the Polling Station and Electoral Area Elections Committee that supervised the just ended Polling Station elections held from 19th February to 5th March, 2022, shall be the same Committee that shall supervise the conduct of the Electoral Area Coordinators Elections, except the few places where the Party had legitimate cause to change some members of the Committee particularly the chairpersons.
- The Committee shall be responsible for the supervision and conduct of the Electoral Area elections across the Constituency within the scheduled dates (Friday, 18th March – Sunday, 20th March, 2022), and at a Venue to be determined by the Committee.
- No member of the Polling Station and Electoral Area Elections Committee shall be eligible to contest in the Electoral Area Coordinators Elections.
- A polling station executive who seeks to contest for the position of Electoral Area Coordinator shall first RESIGN from his/her position.
- Nomination Forms shall be acquired from the Electoral Area Elections Committee for free. However, upon submission of completed Nomination Forms to the elections committee, an Applicant shall be required to pay to the Committee, a filing fee of GHc50.00.
- Nomination Forms can also be downloaded from the Party’s website via the link: newpatrioticparty.org/npp-form, as well as all the official social media accounts of the Party, for free. However, upon submission of completed Nomination Forms to the elections committee, the prospective aspirant shall pay a filing fee of GHc50.
- No prospective aspirant shall be denied the opportunity to submit his/her completed Nomination Form
- A prospective aspirant shall be a known and active member of the Party in the Electoral Area he/she seeks to contest.
- An Aspirant shall be nominated by one (1) person and seconded by three (3) registered members of the Party, all of whom shall be in good standing and Party members at that particular Electoral Area.
- Three (3) Passport sized photographs shall accompany each Application Form.
- As provided for in Article 5(4) of the Party Constitution, persons who are qualified to vote in the Electoral Area Elections shall be the respective Polling Station executives within the Electoral Area as well as the current Electoral Area Coordinator.
- For identification purposes, voters shall use their Party Membership Identity (ID) Card, but where same is unavailable, National Voters ID will be admitted for the purpose of voting.
- The Constituency IT Officer, who is a member of the Committee, shall, under the supervision of the other Committee members, key in the details of all the elected Electoral Area Coordinators, into an electronic system that the Party has developed and made available to the various Constituencies.
- The details of all the elected Electoral Area Coordinators entered into the system shall be electronically transmitted to the IT Directorate of the National Secretariat.
- The Constituency IT Officer who effected the data entries, shall print a hardcopy of the entries and submit same to the Polling Station Executives and Electoral Area Elections Committee, for the necessary verification.
- A hardcopy of the verified data entries shall be lodged with the Regional Secretariat by the Constituency Secretary and Chairman of the Committee, for onward submission to National Secretariat.
- All the data entries and the pasting of photographs of elected Electoral Area Coordinators shall take place at a designated Constituency Collation Centre to be decided by the Polling Station and Electoral Area Elections Committee.
- The following schedules shall be observed in the conduct of the elections:
Opening and closing of Nominations – Monday 14th to Tuesday 15th March 2022
Vetting of Aspirant – Wednesday, 16th March 2022
Appeals, if any – Thursday, 17th March 2022
Election of Electoral Area Coordinator – 18th to 20th March 2022
- Prospective aspirants who feel aggrieved at any point in the process must exhaust all available internal dispute resolution mechanisms in accordance with Article 4 of the Party’s Constitution and the decision of the National Executive (NEC) shall be final.
The Party wishes to appeal, first of all, to the various Electoral Area Elections Committees to ensure a level playing field for all members interested in the Electoral Area Elections. They should rise to the occasion and vindicate the confidence that has been reposed in them by adhering strictly to these express rules and regulations which are meant to ensure the smooth rollout of the Electoral Area Coordinators elections.
Finally, the Party, while commending its grassroots for showing great enthusiasm in the polling station elections, wishes to appeal to those aggrieved in the course of the exercise, to use the laid down time-tested grievance procedures of the Party to seek redress. This is the only Party we have, and we owe it to our forebears and our conscience to protect and defend the good name of the Party at all times. It is the only way we can show that we are loyal and patriotic members of this oldest political tradition in Ghana and West Africa. Let us do right to all in the supreme interest of our beloved party and for the love of God and country.