The National Elections Committee of the New Patriotic Party has ordered fresh elections to be conducted in six constituencies at the Polling Station, Electoral Area and Constituency levels. The affected constituencies are Okaikoi South, Okaikoi North, Krowor, all in the Greater Accra Region, and Juaben, Manhyia North and Ejisu in the Ashanti Region.
The order follows the annulment of the earlier disputed elections which had become subjects of litigations in courts, initiated by some aggrieved members of the respective constituencies.
The elections were annulled because, according to the party’s National Elections Committee, laid down procedures were not followed while deliberate efforts were made to disenfranchise some people.
All the elections are to be completed by March 21, 2014, with the new constituency executives duly sworn into office, to enable them participate in the upcoming April 12 National Delegates Conference slated for Tamale to elect national officers for the party.
They will be organized under the supervision of National Elections Committee.
“The National Elections Committee (NEC) having heard the petitioners and respondents case has come to the conclusion that the laid down procedures and rules were not followed and as a result, people were deliberately disenfranchised in elections purported to have taken place. Accordingly, the National Elections Committee (NEC) has directed that the Polling Station, Electoral Area Coordinators and Constituency elections…must be re-run,” a statement signed by C K Tedam, Chairman of the NEC, directed.
The statement further directed that all the elections must be conducted in line with the party’s existing electoral guidelines. These include the preparation of Polling Station registers; conducting fresh polling station elections; preparation of New Albums for the elections; conducting fresh elections for constituency executives; and the non-involvement of Parliamentary hopefuls and Members of Parliament in the exercise.
The statement, however, directed that in the case of the Ejisu constituency, the Album prepared by the Ashanti Regional Secretariat would be used to conduct the Constituency election.
The Committee also directed that the election for Regional NASARA Coordinators in the Ashanti and Western Regions should be re-run “to comply with the Convention of only Constituency Nasara Coordinators used in conducting the elections in the other eight Regions.”
Catherine Afeku, a member of the National Elections Committee, yesterday told the New Statesman that the committee expect all parties to accept the decision in the interest of the party.
“We believe there are no losers and winners in this case and we expect the parties to see it as a win-win issue because this is an internal contest that should not be allowed to derail the party’s effort at preparing for our National Delegates’ Conference and which we expect to come out solidly united to prepare for the 2016 elections,” the former MP added.
Meanwhile, the New Statesman has learnt that while the directive from the NPP’s National Elections Committee has been welcomed by party members aligned with those who initiated the legal actions, those on the other side are preparing to kick against the directive.
An executive member in the Krowor constituency, for instance, yesterday told the New Statesman they would resist any move to conduct fresh elections in the constituency, claiming that the decision to re-run the elections in the constituency had been influenced by Nii Ayikoi Otoo, Chairman of the party’s Legal and Constitutional Committee, who was the parliamentary candidate for the constituency in the 2012 elections.