With the 2020 general elections just around the corner amidst Ghana’s fight against COVID-19, some political actors have already started weighing the impact of the pandemic on their preparations towards the elections.
The outbreak of the pandemic in Ghana has caused the Electoral Commission (EC) and political parties to postpone some of their lined-up activities both temporarily and indefinitely.
The General-Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has implied that should it become impossible for the party to hold its parliamentary primaries, it might be required to appoint Parliamentary Candidates.
Addressing the issue on Happy98.9FM’s Happy Morning Show was Constitutional Lawyer, Kojo Addo Tuffour.
He told host Samuel Eshun, “NPP handpicking Parliamentary Candidates (PCs) will cause problems. The party’s constitution says elections should be held with winners moving on to represent their constituencies. Handpicking PCs will bring a lot of problems to the party”.
The lawyer noted that the selection basis for choosing these PCs will be the genesis of the problems the party will face. He queried the selection criteria, “Are they going to pick based on who pays dues, who has not spoken against the party or what?”
On his authority, regardless of the efforts the party puts in place to select its PCs for the 2020 elections, a lot of problems will arise which can affect the party’s run for a second term.
Lawyer Tuffuor advised the NPP to develop a technological system where they can hold the elections noting that, the strategy can give them a 75% assurance of its members accepting the results regardless of doubts. “NPP can develop an application to help people vote via technology from their homes and convenience”, he said.
He agreed to the fact that technology can fail saying, we are not in normal times and reaching a compromise was better than handpicking candidates.
The ruling party, NPP is yet to elect parliamentary candidates in the 169 of the 275 constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament. It had earlier elected candidates in the 106 constituencies where it does not have sitting lawmakers.
Though it scheduled 25th of April to elect the candidates, the process had to be postponed as a result of the ban on social gatherings as the country battles the Coronavirus disease.