Delegates of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have started casting their ballots to pick Parliamentary Candidates in 101 Constituencies to represent the Party in the December General Election.
The polls, which started at 0700 hours, is expected to end at 1300 hours at 2,365 polling centres in the 13 regions, where the Party has sitting Members of Parliament..
However, 65 aspirants running unopposed are, however, being affirmed by the delegates in their constituencies.
They include Mr Joseph Osei Owusu, Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai Constituency and Mr Osei Kyei-Mensa-Bonsu, MP for Suame, as parliamentary candidate.
Others are Mr Alexander Affenyo-Markin MP for Effutu, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah MP for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, MP for Ablekuma West, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye MP for Ledzokuku.
Political analysts have said there could be tension in 26 hotspots in the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Eastern, Central and Greater Accra regions.
The tension, they believe, could be fuelled by the aspirants’ status in politics, their influence in the constituencies and ability to mobilise, among other factors.
In all, 73 candidates are contesting in these potential hotspots.
Mr Peter Mac Manu, the 2020 Election Campaign Manager of the ruling Party, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that adequate preparations had been made to ensure the safety of all delegates towards a successful election.
He said bearing in mind the COVID-19 pandemic precautionary protocols announced by the State, the constituencies had been decentralised to ensure that not more than 100 delegates would congregate to vote.
He urged the aspirants and the delegates to comply with all the COVID-19 preventive etiquette and the Party’s guidelines to make the Party the ultimate winner at the end of the day.
Dr Serebour Quarcoe, the Director of Elections at the Electoral Commission, also told the GNA that all the electoral materials had been dispatched to the centres across the nation.
He urged the delegates to visit the centres early to cast their ballots.
On security, he stated that the lists of all polling stations, including the flashpoints, had been given to the security services to ensure a peaceful exercise.
The Ghana Police Service Friday issued a statement to assure of their preparedness to provide adequate security in all the polling stations.
Meanwhile, Mr John Boadu, the General Secretary of the Party, has said the Security Services would ensure that individuals involved in the misconduct were made to face the full rigours of the law.
He explained that it was an offence to vote or attempt to vote more than once, buy or sell a vote, compel somebody to vote in a particular way and obstruct a delegate from freely exercising his or her right to vote.
It was also an offence to display a voter’s marked ballot paper in such a way as to make it known to others the candidate he or she voted for, and take a photo of how one voted in any particular way.
Mr Boadu encouraged all the aspiring parliamentary candidates to adhere to the guidelines and modalities, saying, anyone who conducted him/herself in a manner that would bring the Party’s name into disrepute “shall be deemed to have breached Article 4(7) of the NPP’s Constitution”.
They would, accordingly, be sanctioned, including disqualification.
The Party last year elected candidates in the Oti, Volta and Savannah Regions, where it has no representative in Parliament.
Saturday’s Primaries, was originally scheduled for April 25, 2020 but was rescheduled in view of the COVID-19 crisis.