A planned National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) which was to take a decision on a date for its Presidential and Parliamentary primaries, ended inconclusively yesterday.
There have been reports of confusion, heated arguments and exchange of words which caused the meeting to end abruptly without and conclusive agreement.
The party’s Director of Communications, Richard Ahiagba, shortly after the meeting took to his Facebook wall with a message that sought to douse inflamed passions in the various camps; Bawumia, Kyerematen and the Jubilee House.
Mr Ahiagba wrote “The NPP has just concluded a successful NEC & NC meetings and the unified position is to enable broad consultations to achieve a consensus position on when to hold the Presidential & Parliamentary primaries Long live the NPP”.
Meanwhile, the Herald reported that, while the Presidential aspirants wanted an early conference to decide who leads the party, President Nana Akufo-Addo, disagreed with that position, fearing it would make him a lame duck president – “Kwasiapanyin” in the Twi dialect.
With a hung parliament, the President is particularly afraid that NPP Parliamentarians, would boycott his bills and allow the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to torpedo his programmes for political points.
The meeting which had in attendance the President, the Vice President, the Chief of Staff, some Members of Parliament and presidential hopefuls, was expected to officially set a date for the remaining two elections on the party’s calendar.
It was also supposed to produce a date for the opening of nomination for both elections.
Two blocs which are said to have emerged within the ruling party and pushing for early Congress, while the other is asking the party to abide by the provisions of its Constitution which mandate the party to elect a presidential candidate 12 months to a major election.
Another meeting is expected soon to deliberate on a date which the aspirants insist must be early enough to reduce their expenditure.
The party’s National Council after a long meeting over the matter, is said to have endorsed the decision of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to engage in broad stakeholder consultation before announcing a date for its primaries.
The planned National Executive Committee meeting to set a date and draw up modalities for the two important internal elections on the party’s calendar, ended inconclusively yesterday.
The much-anticipated meeting was postponed from January 31 to yesterday, following the absence of many of the Council members on the earlier date.
Reports attributed to the Council, said the party has set November 2023 to elect its presidential candidate, January 2024 to elect parliamentary candidates for constituencies with sitting NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) and April 2024 for constituencies without sitting NPP MPs.
The former Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, has declared his intention to contest the flagbearership slot and lead the NPP.
He will contest former Agriculture Minister, Dr Akoto Afriyie and former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, who have all declared their intention to contest.
On Wednesday, February 1, a former MP for the Mampong Constituency, Francis Addai-Nimoh, formally announced his intention to contest the party’s flagbearership race when nominations are opened.
The former legislator, said preliminary research conducted by his team coupled with consultation and advice from some elders of the party, psyched himself to bring on board his professional knowledge and values to retain political power. – additional files from the Herald