The internal elections of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is gathering momentum with a total of 11, 825 candidates filing to compete for constituency executive positions on Saturday and Sunday.
Today and tomorrow, stalwarts of the party will also file their nomination to contest for national executive positions which promises to be hotly contested.
Already, the incumbent National Chairman of the party, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and the incumbent General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia have disclosed their intention to contest for the chairmanship position.
Another position of keen interest is that of the General Secretary which has already seen four contestants eyeing the slot. They are the party’s Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, a former Minister of State, Fifi Kwetey, a deputy General Secretary, Dr Peter Boamah Otokunor and Abdullah Ishaq Farrakhan.
Already, nominations for the regional elections of the party have closed and vetting of candidates has also concluded.
The party will, however, open a limited room for appeals to pave the way for the regional elections.
The candidates, who have already been vetted for the constituency elections, will be slugging it out for 7,728 positions in 276 constituencies, including the Santrokofi Akpafu Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) Constituency which does not have a representation in parliament yet.
Each constituency has 28 slots for the executive positions.
Nominations have opened exclusively online today (Thursday, October 20) and tomorrow (Friday, October 21) for aspiring candidates contesting national executive positions in the party to officially declare their intentions.
Aspirants for the various national positions of the party are expected to file their nomination on November 5 and 6 2022.
Successful candidates will be vetted on November 9-10, 2022, while November 12 and 13 will be set aside for appeals ahead of the Women and Youth Conference on December 10 and a National Conference on December 17, this year.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra today, Mr Asiedu Nketia said the constituency elections would be conducted across the country on October 22 and 23, 2022 to produce the next batch of NDC’s constituency executives.
He said branch executives and former government appointees of the party would be eligible to vote in the elections.
Mr Asiedu Nketia said the eligible voters would however be required to have paid their party dues in full before they would be allowed to cast their votes.
“Dues payment status of delegates who are branch executives would be checked. And if you are a former government appointee, your dues payment status would be checked too because you have to be in good standing and your position as a former appointee alone would not be enough,” he said.
The constituency election, follows the completion of branch elections, the base of the party’s structure which saw the election of officers across all 29,000 branches of the party in the country.
Mr Asiedu Nketia said already, the party had settled all appeal cases concerning the constituency elections and urged aggrieved persons who might still have concerns to direct their grievances to the appropriate quarters for redress. He also urged all candidates to abide by the rules of engagement, adding that candidates who do not win the election should wait and take advantage of future appeal processes.
Mr Nketia said although the party’s constitution empowered the constituency chairperson to select a venue for the election, he or she was expected by the same constitution to do so in consultation with other executives in the constituency
He said the venue, per the party’s constitution, must be located in the constituency.
He said any chairperson who chose a venue without consulting other executives in the constituency would be held solely responsible for any unfortunate incident that might arise during the elections.
“In some cases when a chairman is contesting again, that person may want to choose a venue in some bush hoping that maybe they can bring some macho men to help them win. Some of the places may not even have phone reception. If you do that and there is violence, you would be held solely responsible as chairman,” he said.
The NDC General Secretary also mentioned that the decision to postpone the constituency elections in the Eastern Region to a later date had been rescinded.
He said the party earlier took the decision to conduct the constituency election at a later date because its branch elections were delayed, but upon further consultations, the National Executives of the party had decided to allow the elections to proceed as scheduled.