Politics of 2014-06-13

Ayikoi Otoo envisages special congress for NPP’s presidential primary

Chairman of the New Patriotic Party's constitutional committee, Ayikoi Otoo, is predicting the party’s presidential primary will go through a special electoral college.

His forecast is grounded on the increasing obsession for the party’s presidential slot as many party bigwigs pick nomination forms.

The NPP opened its nomination on June 6, and so far five people have picked forms.

They are Asuogyaman MP Kofi Ameyaw Osei, former Trade Minister Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, party’s two times presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, former Information Minister Stephen Asamoah Boateng and Member of Parliament for Mampong, Francis Addai Nimoh.

Persons such as Alan Kyerematen and Prof. Frimpong Boateng, who have had two unsuccessful attempts at the position and have indicated their interest, are yet to pick nomination forms.

The party expanded its electoral college after 17 personalities paraded themselves for election at the party’s presidential primary in 2007.

The sheer number was condemned by many, and Mr. Otoo believes it was “a little unworthy and created the impression that just anybody could pick forms".

The party subsequently amended its constitution limiting the number of persons allowed to contest under the system to five.

However, when more than five people expressed interest to lead the party, a special electoral college ought to be organised, by secret balloting, to whittle the number down to five, Ayikoi Otoo explained.

“The way we are going, with the list that you are mentioning, it is likely that we will go beyond the five. If we do then we must have to go through the special Electoral College,” he told Joy News’ Evans Mensah.

Going for an Electoral College would be “time consuming," Mr Ayikoi Otoo acknowledged.

The special congress has to be done before a date could be fixed for the expanded college, which should all be done 24 months before the national elections.

Persons eligible to cast their vote at the special congress include national and regional executive committee members, national council of elders, Members of Parliament, few representatives of special organs of the party, past national officers, external branches, and founding members.

Meanwhile, pollster Ben Ephson is predicting victory for Nana Akufo-Addo should more people contest the presidential slot.

Nana Akufo-Addo would only face a competitive election if other contestants withdrew from the race and throw their weight behind one person against him (Nana Akufo-Addo) who already has about 40 percent of delegates’ votes, Ben Ephson said.