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Replacement Of Deceased NPP MPs: Using The Late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu As A Reference Point

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Isaac Nkrumah Sir Zibo
Isaac Nkrumah Sir Zibo

Source: Isaac Nkrumah (Sir Zibo)

In recent times the New Patriotic Party lost two of its 2024 Parliamentary Candidates within one week. The first person was the late Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ejisu Constituency in the Ashanti Region who was the Deputy Finance Minister.

The second person was the late His Excellency Rashid Bawa, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria and a former Minister of State who occupied various Ministerial positions during President J. A Kufour’s era.

The late Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah was the first to die when he met his untimely death on Thursday, 7th March 2024, at Suhum on his way to Accra, to catch a flight to Germany for medical treatment. He went unopposed to become the 2024 Parliamentary Candidate for the Ejisu Constituency.

He is the first incumbent MP to go unopposed in the Ejisu Constituency, on Thursday 25th January 2024 Ejisu Constituency held a ceremony to give him a popular acclamation as the NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the 2024 elections. It is sad to say Hon. John Ampontuah Kumah is no more to continue representing his constituents.

The late His Excellency Rashid Bawa, on the other hand, died on Thursday 14th March 2024 in Nigeria after a short illness. He contested the Akan Constituency NPP Parliamentary Primaries on Saturday 2nd December 2023 and had 492 votes to become the 2024 Parliamentary Candidate for the Akan Constituency in the Oti Region against his main contenders Tassah Abubakar Safiwu who got 103 votes and Yakubu Issifu Tanko who secured 17 votes.

After Ghana lost these two stalwarts, my attention was drawn to the New Patriotic Party’s Constitution, just to keep myself abreast with what the constitution says about the replacement of deceased Parliamentary Candidates but to my uttermost surprise I couldn’t chance on any Article which specifically talks about that.

Article 11 of the NPP Constitution talks about Selection of Parliamentary Candidate:
“1. No member shall be nominated or endorsed as the Party’s Candidate in any parliamentary election unless the member has been selected per the provisions of this Article.

2. a) The selection of Parliamentary Candidates shall be advertised for 18 months before the date of the National election provided that it shall be advertised for 1 (one) month in the constituency.
b) Parliamentary candidates shall be selected at least twelve (12) months before the national general election. To avoid doubt, the National Executive Committee shall have the power to determine separate dates for elections in the constituency where the party has sitting Members of Parliament.
c) A member applying for nomination as the party’s Parliamentary candidate should be a known and active member for at least two (2) years provided that, in appropriate cases, the National Executive Committee, in consultation with the Regional and Constituency executives, may dispense with the requirement.
d) A member applying for nomination as the party’s parliamentary candidate for any Constituency shall be a registered member and a voter in the Constituency, which he or she seeks to represent provided that, in appropriate cases, the National Executives Committee in consultation with the Regional and Constituency Executives, may dispense with the requirement.

3. Any Member may, before the expiry date of the period set out in Article 11 (2), apply for the nomination as the party’s parliamentary candidate.

4. No member shall be entitled to apply for nomination as the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for any Constituency unless he or she :
(i) Is a known and active member for at least (2) years:
(ii) Is a registered member and a voter in the Constituency which he or she seeks to represent, provided that in appropriate cases the Constituency Executive Committee dispense with the requirement:
(iii) Is of good character:
(iv) Is otherwise of good standing:
(v) Has paid the prescribed fee for Parliamentary Candidate by the deadline set by the National Executive Committee:
(vi) Qualifies under the electoral laws to be a parliamentary candidate for the Constituency; and
(vii) Has signed the “undertaking for Parliamentary Candidates”.

5. It shall be the obligation of the member seeking nomination as the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate to satisfy the Constituency Executive Committee, the Regional Executive Committee and the National Executive Committee that the conditions stipulated in Article 11 (4) have been fulfilled, and any application which does not comply with these conditions shall be rejected.”

About the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu and his death.
The late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu was born in the year 1952. He was a Ghanaian Politician and a Chartered Accountant. Hon. Baah-Wiredu was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Parliament of Ghana for Asante Akim North Constituency from January 1997 until his death on September 24, 2008. He served as a Minister of State in different Ministries under the John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor government from 2001.

He held the portfolio of Local Government and Rural Development (2001 – 2003) and Education, Youth and Sports (2003 – 2005). He became the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning in 2005. The late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu was elected on Thursday 8th May 2008 as the NPP 2008 Parliamentary Candidate for Asante Akim North Constituency.
The late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu the incumbent Member of Parliament, polled 90 votes as against his opponent Mr. Andy Appiah-Kubi who had 58 votes.

On 24th September 2008, Baah-Wiredu died in South Africa where he had been receiving medical treatment for a short illness.

This article is aimed at using the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu’s demise as a precedence or reference point for decision-making and the way forward.

Using the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu’s deceased as precedence or reference point, the NPP organized Parliamentary primaries, which were held at Agogo on Sunday 12th October 2008.

Mr. Anyimadu-Antwi, a lawyer, polled 123 votes out of 149 ballots cast to beat his only challenger, Mr. Isaac Kwesi Hammond, a business consultant.

Per this precedence or reference point, I wish to commend the NPP General Secretary Lawyer Justin Frimpong Kodua for issuing a letter dated March 29, 2024, approving timelines for the Ejisu By-Election primaries as follows:
Opening of Nomination – Tuesday, April 2, 2024.
Closing of Nomination – Thursday, April 4, 2024.
Election – Saturday, April 13, 2024.

I foresee another NPP parliamentary primary to elect a Parliamentary Candidate in the Akan Constituency (Oti Region) unless the National Council or the National Executive Committee suggest otherwise.

Finally, My fervent prayer is, May all gone souls have eternal rest.

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