To ensure free, fair and transparent primaries the various orphaned constituencies, the Greater Accra Regional branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has initiated a programme to certify all the delegates to each constituency primary.
Dubbed “Branch Auditing,” the regional officers, after verifying the eligible delegates from the various branches, would then compile a photo register, copies of which would be given to the Electoral Commission (EC) officers who would organise the elections, parliamentary hopefuls and the constituency executives.
Briefing the Daily Graphic, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC, Mr Kobina Ade-Coker, said the region was leaving nothing to chance to ensure that there was a level playing field as well as the strict applications of the rules and regulations governing the primaries to attain peaceful primaries that would engender unity.
He said aside offering the aspirants copies of the photo register of the delegates, the party would provide them with equal platform to have access to address and interact with the delegates.
He cautioned constituency executives who would exhibit the slightest sign of bias towards or against any of the aspirants, adding that the party would deal with such recalcitrant executive ruthlessly.
Mr Ade-Coker said in conformity with the directive from the National Executive, it had declared constituencies with sitting NDC MPs as “no go areas for campaigns of any form” for party members nursing the ambition to contest the primaries and said the regional executive would not spare any member seen flouting the directive.
He said at the appropriate time, the party would open up the constituencies for contest.
Last month, the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, stated that any member of the NDC who would campaign before the party opens nomination for primaries at constituencies with sitting MPs will be disqualified.
He explained that the party had taken the decision to allow sitting MPs to have the peace of mind to concentrate on the work of Parliament until such a time that the National Executive Committee of the party would decide on a date for the opening of nominations for such constituencies.
He said the National Executive Committee (NEC) had not opened nominations for constituencies with sitting Mrs., and cautioned those interested in contesting these seats, “be they ministers, deputy ministers, DCEs or board members to wait till we fix a date. If they peak before time, we will cut them off.”
The General Secretary noted that the constituency executives had the responsibility to monitor and bring to book all those who wished to contest the seat and might flout the regulations.
Nominations for orphaned constituencies opened from August 16 to September 16, followed by vetting which begins from the constituency, regional and national levels. Various constituency executives are to set appropriate dates for voting to elect the aspirants between October 1 and October 31.
Nomination forms would be sold at all constituency and regional offices at GH¢200. A male aspirant must pay a filing fee of GH¢2,000, while female aspirants would pay GH¢1,000. The reduction of the fees for the females forms part of the NDC’s moves towards encouraging more women to contest.