After days of uncertainty and tense moments, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) goes to the polls today to elect a flag bearer and parliamentary candidates for the 2024 general election.
This follows the withdrawal of the injunction case filed by one of the three flag bearer aspirants, Dr Kwabena Duffuor.
However, Dr Duffuor did not only withdraw the case, but also pulled out of the presidential primary, leaving the contest now in a two-man race between former President John Dramani Mahama and former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive, Kojo Bonsu.
In withdrawing from the elections, the former Minister of Finance yesterday evening in a press conference explained that his decision was based on his grievances with the processes leading to the party’s upcoming primaries; especially
the voters register.
He said the exercise had been marred by a lot of irregularities; which had not been resolved by the leadership of the party.
He, therefore, announced that he would no longer vie for the flagbearership of the NDC. However, he would still keep in touch with the grass roots.
“As at this time, the party has begun distributing the ballot papers to the various regions and constituencies without our involvement. I wish to reiterate my commitment to the party and grass roots however, my concern that the party is not ready to conduct free and fair elections is evident for all of us to see.
“Taking part in such an event will be akin to knowing drinking from a poisoned calabash. After consulting with my support base nationwide, I have been left with no choice but to withdraw as I cannot contest in an election blatantly flawed with irregularities regardless of all my effort to draw attention to the same,” Dr Duffour said.
This came hours after Dr Duffour withdrew the suit he had filed against the NDC following what he said were some discrepancies his team had identified in the party’s voters register to be used for the exercise.
Last Monday, he dragged the party to court, praying that the election should not be held until a complete register was delivered to his camp and the two other presidential aspirants at least five weeks ahead of the election.
The writ said a sizeable number of the eligible voters had no photographs exhibited on the voters register, making it impossible to conduct any meaningful verification exercise on those affected.
He also alleged that the number of constituencies on the hard drive given to his representatives was 220 as against 228 constituencies.
The litany of allegations also included the fact that there were inaccuracies that rendered the photo album unviable for a free, fair and credible election, and that an exceptional list of 74,799 people had been created to take part in the election, while 3,910 eligible voters in the 220 constituencies had been disenfranchised.
However, when the court sat yesterday, his counsel, Opoku Amponsah, said he had instructions from his client to discontinue the case.
“The discussions came up this morning for which reason I could file the necessary processes,” he told the court.
The judge, Mariam Afful, subsequently struck out the application as withdrawn.
Consequently, the elections are expected to go ahead this morning across the country.
The Electoral Commission (EC), which initially declined to supervise the polls due to the injunction process served on the body, has agreed to conduct the polls.
The Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, who made this known to the Daily Graphic, said the commission would go ahead to supervise and conduct the election.
Otherwise, the NDC stated at a news conference yesterday that it would resort to an internal mechanism to conduct today’s election, if the EC declined to supervise it.
The presidential primary will take place in 275 out of the 276 constituencies initially earmarked for the polls except in the Manhyia South Constituency, which will not vote in the parliamentary primaries too.
The parliamentary primaries will, however, be held in 212 constituencies, with 16 put on hold, and 47 going unopposed.
The head of the Elections Committee of NDC, Kakra Essamuah, told the Daily Graphic that a total of 356,624 delegates of the party were expected to vote in the election.
They comprise branch, constituency, regional and national executive, former national executive, sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), former MPs and government appointees, NDC-appointed Article 71 Office Holders, and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives that served under the party’s government.
The rest are NDC-appointed former deputy and ministers of state, former Ambassadors and High Commissioners, former Members of the Council of State, presidential staffers who fall under Article 71 of the Constitution, foreign chapters and members of the NDC Professional Forum.
Some 692 aspirants are contesting the parliamentary primaries, and three in the presidential primary.
With Dr Duffuor’s withdrawal, the two remaining flag bearer aspirants are a former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kojo Bonsu, and former President John Dramani Mahama.
According to the breakdown, 259 constituencies will fully participate in both the presidential and parliamentary primaries.
Sixteen constituencies will participate in only the presidential and not the parliamentary, while Manhyia South would not take part in the election at all due to some internal dispute.
We control one-third of NPP; No major decision can be taken without consulting us – Ken Agyapong
Assin Central Member of Parliament Kennedy Agyapong says his performance at the just-ended New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential primary shows that he is a force to be reckoned with and that no major decision can be taken by the party without consulting him.
Mr. Agyapong made the comments on Saturday, November 11, during a “Showdown” Thanksgiving party organized for his supporters and coordinators during the NPP presidential primary campaign.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia won the presidential primary with 118,210 votes, representing 61.47%, while his closest contender, Mr Agyapong, polled 71,996 votes, representing 37.41%.
Speaking at the party, Mr Agyapong thanked his campaign team and said that he was “underestimated” ahead of the primary.
“They underestimated us, but we’ve proven to them that we now control one-third of the NPP,” Mr. Agyapong said. “No major decision will be taken without consulting us.”
Mr. Agyapong added that he had been underestimated by many, including a pastor who predicted that his best performance would be 16%.
“There was this pastor who even said if I get more than 16 percent, he [pastor] should be killed,” Mr. Agyapong said. “But today, I am praying for that pastor, that God should grant him long life and he should not die soon.”
The showdown Thanksgiving party brought together in Accra all coordinators of Mr. Agyapong from every region in Ghana.
Bawumia wins NPP presidential primary with 61.43% of total valid votes cast
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has been elected to lead the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for Election 2024 as flagbearer.
It had been predicted Bawumia was going to win with a larger margin but as promised, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong gave him a “showdown”.
Ken Agyapong, the Member of Parliament for Assin Central came second with 37.41%.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto came third with 0.76% while Francis Addai Nimoh was last with 0.41%.
#NPPDecides: New poll predicts Bawumia’s dominance in 8 key regions
The Institute of Research Innovation & Development at Kumasi Technical University, in its latest poll, has disclosed that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia stands a greater chance of winning the upcoming New Patritoc Party (NPP) flagbearer race as he will most likely secure an overwhelming victory in eight regions.
Ahead of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential primaries on Saturday, November 4, many researchers have tipped Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as leading the race, with Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong being his closest contender.
The latest to conduct a poll on the upcoming election is the Institute of Research Innovation & Development at Kumasi Technical University.
The director of the Institute, who is the lead researcher for the poll, Prof. Smart Sarpong, in an interview with Citi News, disclosed that 15,595 NPP delegates were engaged.
He noted that the key components considered among the four aspirants were who is the most unifying, who has the most visible leadership qualities, who is most likely to break the “8,” as well as non-policy factors such as religion and ethnicity were taken into account.
Prof. Smart Sarpong disclosed that 71.1% of the respondents said Dr. Bawumia has a higher chance of breaking the “8,” while 26.8% of them stated that Kennedy Agyapong stands a better chance of breaking the “8.” 1.8% and 0.3% chose Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Mr. Addai Nimo, respectively.
69.9% also described Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as the most unifying, whereas 19.4% said Kennedy Agyapong is the most unifying. In terms of being the most unifying, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto had 8.5%, while Francis Addai Nimo had 2.2%.
In terms of being the aspirant with the most visible leadership qualities, 70.5% of the delegates engaged chose Dr. Bawumia, and 19.4% mentioned Mr. Kennedy Agyapong. 8.1% and 2.0% of the delegates chose Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto and Addai Nimo, respectively.
With respect to how religion or ethnocentrism can influence the choice of vote, 13.4% said religion would be taken into consideration, while 86.4% said they would not consider religion. 13.8% of the delegates said they would strongly consider ethnicity, while 86.2% said they would not consider one’s ethnic background before voting for them. 97.1% noted they would take into account the past record of each person before voting for them, while 2.9% said that factor would not be considered.
Out of the 16 regions and the one national headquarters, Prof. Smart Sarpong revealed that Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has a commanding lead in eight (8) regions with an average of 81.9%.
“Out of these 17 clusters (the 16 regions and the NPP national headquarters), I see 8 of the clusters being already decided. The Vice President has taken a very good lead. Those regions include; North East, Northern region, Upper East and Upper West, Ashanti, Bono, Eastern, and Volta.”
Prof. Smart Sarpong further noted that their research predicts that the election would be open in five regions, as none of the aspirants has a clear lead.
He, however, noted that the work the aspirants put in a few days before the election could change the dynamics.
“It is 50/50 for any aspirant who works extra harder. Those 5 regions include the Western region, Savannah region, BonoEast region, the party headquarters, and Western North.”
The research also showed that Mr. Kennedy Agyapong could have a clear lead in four other regions if he works harder, as he is leading with an average of 49.6%.
“The following regions have the potential of going for Hon. Ken Ohene Agyapong. They are likely going to go for him. It doesn’t mean he should go to sleep on them. He should try and consolidate whatever gains he has in these four regions. So, Hon. Ken and the team, Oti region, Greater Accra region, Central region, and Ahafo region.”
Reacting to the latest poll, the spokesperson of the Kennedy Agyapong campaign team in the Ashanti region, William Kusi, insists that despite the research stating that their candidate is not strong enough in the Ashanti region, their own poll states otherwise.
“Our candidate, for instance, has combed the whole country, and we as a campaign team have also done a lot of work, especially in the Ashanti region. We have heard of the sponsored polls that have come out and are giving Dr. Bawumia the lead, but we disagree because on the ground, we are far ahead.
For instance, our internal polls suggest that we are going to have 75-80 percent support in the Ashanti region. So, when I heard of the polls from the one who always fails, Ben Ephson, for instance, I was like, what is happening? Smart Sarpong at the regional level did so well with his polls. It was accurate, but he is getting it wrong this time,” he said.