Stephen Ntim, Paul Afoko, Fred Oware and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) yesterday organized a balloting session for all four aspirants contesting for the Chairmanship position of the party.
The balloting process was suspended by the Vetting Committee of the party in order to investigate allegations against one of the aspirants, Paul Afoko, who was said to have served a jail term over drugs in the United Kingdom.
At the end of the balloting, which took place at the conference room of the party’s Asylum Down headquarters, incumbent National Chairman, Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey picked the number one position.
He was followed by Steve Ntim, who is hoping to win this time around after two previous attempts had failed.
NPP businessman Paul Afoko took the third position while incumbent first Vice Chairman, Fred Oware, landed on the number four slot.
The candidates would therefore appear in that order on the ballot paper on Congress day, April 12, 2014, when the party’s national executives are going to be elected in the Northern Regional capital of Tamale.
Various interpretations have been given to the positions the candidates will appear on the ballot papers when printed.
While Jake believes that being number one on the ballot paper somehow puts him in a better stead and makes him the obvious choice, Paul Afoko believes that the founding fathers of the party—Danquah-Busia-Dombo—are spiritually supporting his bid, having picked the number three position.
Director of Elections of the NPP, Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE on the way forward said, ‘What it means is that in the next couple of days or weeks, we should be getting out the notice of polls which is a requirement informing various constituencies of impending elections.’
At the committee level—both local and national—he said, ‘Work is seriously progressing; back in Tamale, we have all the local arrangements, venue, accommodation, food, paramedics, ambulance service and security all worked on.’
Mr. Adjei-Mensah Korsah continued, ‘At the national level, there are fruitful discussions between the EC and the Police Service, all to make sure that we have a very successful programme. So everything is on course.’ He noted that ‘all is set for a successful programme with the way things are moving.’
He had cause to parry rumours that the party might change Tamale as the venue for the Congress in view of recent skirmishes in that part of the country.
Instead, Mr. Korsah said, ‘The police and other security agencies in-charge of security have given a firm commitment that security is under control, regardless the few skirmishes that happened.
‘Being security experts, we are inclined to go by their assurance and so we think all is okay with security for now, per their advice.’
Between now and Congress day, candidates are expected to intensify their campaign activities to convince delegates as to why they should vote for them for the various positions they are vying for.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu
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