All is set for the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) to go to the polls today to elect its presidential candidate for 2024 from among four hopefuls.
The upcoming flagbearer vote is keenly being contested by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Assin Central MP, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, former Food and Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and a former Mampong MP, Francis Addai-Nimoh.
The candidate that will be elected will face ex-President John Dramani Mahama, who was endorsed by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) earlier this year to lead it into the 2024 general election after receiving more than 98% of the votes in the NDC’s presidential primary.
The NPP presidential primaries is being conducted at the time the ruling party is entering into eighth year of an Akufo-Addo presidency, while it wants to break the jinx, because no party in Ghana under the Fourth Republic — 1992 to the present — has ever won more than two consecutive terms.
The NPP’s General Secretary, Justin Kodua Frimpong, stated that all preparations for a successful election had been made for Saturday.
“I can tell you and the party’s rank and file that we are ready. The Electoral Commission is ready, the Ghana Police Service is also ready, and I believe that delegates and the aspirants themselves are also ready,” he intimated.
According to him, a total of 208,342 delegates are expected to cast their ballot across various constituencies in the country to elect one out of the four aspirants.
The delegates include 398 MPs/MMDCEs, 28 Ministers/Deputy Ministers, 50 Foundation Members, 61 National Council members, 30 Patrons & Council of Elders, 272 Regional Officers, and 4,675 Constituency Officers.
The rest are 1,375 Constituency Patrons, 1,375 Constituency Council of Elders, 6,272 Electoral Area Coordinators, 193,110 Polling Station Executives, 405 Overseas Branches, and 291 members of TESCON.
The Presidential Election Committee has disclosed that the poll will start at 7:00 am and close at 2:00 pm at each centre, adding that each contestant will have two accredited agents but one polling agent at each polling station will represent a contestant at all times.
Counting & Declaration of Results
The committee said ballots would be counted and results announced immediately after the close of polls at each voting centre.
It noted that the presiding officer at the voting centre would announce the voting centre results and a copy of the results forwarded to the Presidential Elections Committee.
“All agents shall sign the declaration form. Failure of an agent to sign the results will not invalidate the announcement by the Presiding Officer,” the committee indicated in a statement.
It said the presiding officer at the voting centre shall transmit the constituency results to the EC Headquarters for collation.
It disclosed that the results of the presidential elections from each constituency shall be collated first at the Electoral Commission Regional Head Offices.
“Each contestant would either be represented by himself and/or his accredited agents (2 agents) at the Collation Centre at the EC Headquarters,” it stressed.
The Presidential Elections Committee said after the collation, the EC shall officially declare the results at the NPP Headquarters, Asylum Down, Accra.
“All contestants are invited to be at the party head office for this purpose. The Returning Officer and one of the contestant’s agents at the Collation Centre will jointly sign the results,” the statement noted.
According to the committee, in the recruitment of election officials, there will be one presiding officer for each polling station, one assistant in charge of the register, one assistant in charge of indelible ink, one ballot issuer, and one queue controller.
Meanwhile, the NPP General Secretary has disclosed that the Ghana Police Service will be in charge of security during the election without any interference.
“We have never had a perfect election in this world, and we always learn from the previous ones and improve on the future ones.
“About a week ago, the party, the Electoral Commission and the Ghana Police Service together with the aspirants, had a meeting at the Police headquarters. And we were all clear in our minds about the role that the Ghana Police Service will be playing on Saturday,” he told JoyNews.
He said he had also given the police the assurance that as a party they would comport themselves very well, adding, “And nobody even from the presidency to the national party will have the right to interfere with the work that will be done by the Electoral Commission or the Ghana Police Service.”
He added that, “Anyone who makes any attempt to cause any havoc or chaos there should be arrested by the Ghana Police Service. So, I am sure that the police will be up to the task and we are looking forward to having a very successful primary on Saturday.”
According to the NPP General Secretary, all issues with the delegates’ album or register have been resolved, and all aspirants have been satisfied.
“The final album has now been given to the Electoral Commission to bring it on the day of the polls,” Mr. Kodua noted.