The General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has urged parliamentary aspirants who are struggling to pick nomination forms at the constituency level to do so at the national level.
Barely two days to the closure of nominations for the NPP’s parliamentary primaries, some aspirants are still facing challenges in getting access to the forms.
The party will organise its parliamentary and presidential primaries on April 25, 2020.
It opened nominations on January 20, 2020 and will close the process on Thursday, February 20.
However, some of the aspirants have complained that efforts to pick up nomination forms at the constituency and regional levels have been futile.
Mr. Boadu on the Citi Breakfast Show acknowledged that there had been a few hitches with the picking of nomination forms in a few regions but was quick to add that the affected aspirants could resort to the national headquarters to pick their forms.
“Generally out of the 169 constituencies that we have opened, you remember that [in the] Ayawaso West Wuogon because we held a by-election just recently, two years before the general election, the convention is that the candidate that wins on our ticket is repeated without going through the primaries so that has been set out. I can on top of my head mention Weija Gbawe in Accra, Ablekuma West [as some areas aspirants are having challenges]–There are about three constituencies in Ashanti Region that have a few challenges.”
“We have stated that anybody who is desirous of contesting on our ticket, who goes to the constituency and he is denied of having access to the forms should appeal to the region. If he is unable to get the forms at the region, he should appeal to the national [leadership] to have it.”
Mr. Boadu said the national headquarters will be opened from 7 am to 6 pm to afford persons who had not picked up forms yet the opportunity to do so.
“We have just about three days to go. Henceforth our national office will be opened from 7am to 6pm. The forms will be available. Anybody that comes and shows evidence of having been denied will be given forms to contest.”
In the Weija Gbawe constituency, two of the aspirants have blamed the incumbent Member of Parliament who doubles as the Deputy Minister of Health, Tina Mensah of scheming to prevent them from having access to the nomination forms.
Some of the aspirants who spoke to Citi News shared their pain and disappointment.
One of the aspirants said “They should call that woman to order, the grounds are not good. They should give us the forms to fill and go to vetting and compete on a healthy ground and then we can unite and give the party what the party deserves”.
Another aspirant said “I will unseat her and she knows. Someone is taking the constituency as his or her father’s property or business which has been given to her and it is not something we feel as democratic as it should be”.
In the Suame constituency, a legal practitioner, John Darko who wants to unseat the incumbent MP and Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu who has been in Parliament since 1996, has been unsuccessful in picking the forms.
He subsequently petitioned the party’s National Secretariat.
A group calling itself the Suame Home Support Movement earlier threatened to demonstrate against executives of the NPP in the constituency over the issue.
The group which comprises constituents, mostly supporters and sympathizers of the governing party said, such a move has the tendency to affect the fortunes of the NPP in the 2020 general elections.
Afigya Sekyere East Constituency
Another aspirant in the Afigya Sekyere East Constituency aspirant, Oheneba Gyamfi, had also lamented the lack of positive feedback, in his quest to pick up the forms, after several petitions submitted to the constituency office.
Albert Kan Dapaah Jnr. struggles to pick nomination forms
Also, supporters of Albert Kan Dapaah Jnr, a parliamentary aspirant seeking to contest in the Party’s upcoming primary in the Ablekuma West Constituency, were stranded at the party’s constituency office on 27th January 2020 when they tried to pick up nomination forms for their preferred candidate. This was because the constituency chairman was not around.
The supporters claimed that the absence of the constituency chairman was part of a scheme to ensure that the incumbent Member of Parliament for the area, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, goes unopposed in the upcoming primary.