Accra, Aug. 7, GNA - The much publicised Special National Delegates Election of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to elect a flag bearer out of five contenders, took-off on Saturday without the usual euphoria, which characterised its last congress in December 2007.It becomes the first political party to elect a flag bearer for Election 2012 through a novelty election throughout the 228 polling stations nationwide.
A tour of some polling stations in Accra by Ghana News Agency observed peace and tranquility at the centres with Police personnel on virtual holiday, watching the delegates as they go through the process.
This was a sharp contrast to what GNA observed in 2007, where party supporters mounted loud speakers outside the vicinity of the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, the venue for the Congress, blaring out music in honour of their aspirants in an attempt to woo undecided delegates.
The historic election also denied the five aspirants the last minute opportunity to address the delegates on the Election Day as had been the norm during previous congresses.
The aspirants, who had toured the entire country canvassing for votes are Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Mr Isaac Osei, Mr John Kwame Koduah, Mr John Kwadwo Alan Kyeremanten and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Mr Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko, a leading member of Nana Akufo-Addo's campaign team told GNA that the historic election had rejuvenated the party, which lost power virtually 24 months ago with shock and doubt.
He said the new voting pattern in all polling stations across the nation had reduced the emporia, spreading the fanfare across in a more business-like atmosphere.
Mr Agyarko classified the election as two-in-one as its National Congress and Constituency Congress have all been boxed together, hence the change in original time of commencement from 0800 hours to 0900 hours to make room for the constituencies to organise.
Dr Francis Fonder, a leading member of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng's campaign team told GNA that: "We are monitoring the progress with keen interest, confident that the Electoral Commission would manage all infractions and difficulties".
Mr John Twumasi, Ayawaso West Wuorgon Constituency Chairman told GNA: "apart from a small infraction of allegation that one of the aspirants had posted an agent to a polling station and was offering money to potential delegates, all had been peaceful".
Ghana News Agency also saw some agents of the aspirants at the polling stations cross-checking the names and in some instances assisting in identifying a delegate.
Mr John Owusu Afriyie, NPP General Secretary, in an interview with the He debunked the notion of a rift after the election, stressing that the party would come out more united and intact and would move ahead to regain power in Election 2012.
Some of the constituencies GNA visited include: Ayawaso West Wuorgon polling station at Dzorwulu JSS, Ayawaso Central at a house near the Alajo football park, Ayawaso East at Nima Cluster of Schools, Okaikoi South at the Prince of Peace Academy, the National Headquarters and Adenta at the party offices.
Other areas were Dome-Kwabenya at Atomic Energy School, Ledzokuku at Ford School, Trobu-Amasaman at Kingsby Hotel, and Okaikoi North at Summit Spot, Nii Boi Town.