Voting is currently underway at various centers across the country as delegates of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) cast their votes to elect the party’s presidential candidate for the 2024 elections.
However, there have been delays at some of the centers as voting materials have not yet arrived, despite the advertised starting time of 7am.
This has caused frustration among some delegates who have been patiently waiting to cast their votes.
Police officers have been deployed to the head office of the NPP to supervise the primary.
National Officers of the party will vote at the party’s headquarters.
The delegates eligible to elect the presidential candidate include Ministers and Deputy Ministers, Patrons and Council of Elders, National Council, Overseas Branches, MPs, Constituency Patrons, Constituency Officers, Electoral Area Coordinators, and Polling Station Executives.
Over 200,000 delegates from the party will have the power to choose the party’s flagbearer for the 2024 presidential elections.
The majority of the approximately 204,144 delegates are based in Ghana, but there are also delegates from overseas branches.
Four aspirants are vying for the presidential candidacy: Member of Parliament for Assin Central Constituency Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, former MP for Kwadaso and former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and former MP for Mampong Francis Addai-Nimoh.
This election marks the first time in nearly 16 years that the ruling party will choose a new face as their candidate for a major election.
Since winning the 2007 primary at the Great Hall of the University of Ghana, the NPP has consistently supported Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as their presidential candidate.
However, one of Akufo-Addo’s perennial contenders, Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, withdrew from the race, citing intimidation of his supporters and partiality in the Super Delegates Conference.
Kyerematen has since resigned from the party and announced his decision to run as an independent candidate in the 2024 elections.
Additionally, another candidate, Boakye Kyeremanteng Agyarko, withdrew from the race after the National Council’s decision to separate his vote from Francis Addai-Nimoh’s. Agyarko deemed this decision unconstitutional.
With the withdrawal of Kyerematen and Agyarko, four candidates remain in the race for the NPP flagbearer position. These candidates signed an undertaking on November 2, agreeing to remain with the party regardless of the primary’s outcome.
The signing took place during a meeting with the Council of Elders in the presence of President Akufo-Addo at the Alisa Hotel.
A total of 277 polling centers have been set up across the country for the primaries, with the exercise scheduled to start at 7am and end at 3pm.
The police have assured the general public that adequate security measures will be implemented to maintain law and order and ensure peace and security during and after the exercise.
By Vincent Kubi