The General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has denied suggestions that the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) intends handpicking parliamentary candidates to contest in the general elections if COVID-19 persists.
Mr. Boadu was quoted by a section of the media as saying the party’s NEC might resort to selecting parliamentary candidates for the general elections if the NPP is unable to organise primaries for siting MPs ahead of the general elections, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Mr. Boadu on the Citi Breakfast Show, however, dismissed these claims, saying he was misrepresented.
He clarified that he had only indicated that the NEC was devising other strategies of electing parliamentary candidates if COVID-19 is not contained.
“It is the headline that was given [my earlier remarks]…that created that impression but if you had gone further to listen to the interview I had granted, I do not think anyone would have come to the conclusion that we are planning to hand pick our parliamentary candidates for where we have sitting Members of Parliament,” he said.
The NPP suspended its April 25, 2020 parliamentary primaries indefinitely in accordance with the President’s ban on public gatherings in the wake of the Coronavirus.
NPP against the postponement of elections
Mr. Boadu also said the party is not in support of a possible postponement of the 2020 general elections.
The conduct of the December 7, 2020 polls is in limbo given the fact that many of the electoral activities in the build-up to the polls have been put on hold until further notice as a result of the pandemic.
While many continue to cast doubts over the ability of the Electoral Commission (EC) to compile a new voters’ register ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections, some have already begun looking into the practicalities of some constitutional provisions to be considered for the present situation.
Both legal and constitutional arguments have also been made to minimize the risk and political implication of holding or cancelling the election in the phase of the outbreak.
Mr. Boadu said the government is mindful of putting in place the necessary social distancing measures under circumstances when elections have to be held in the wake of the pandemic.
“We took a decision to postpone the 25th April much-awaited primaries indefinitely and that is where we are now. We [NPP] do not believe that the mandate of the President should be extended for one minute. The NPP is totally against the situation where 6th of January, we have not been able to renew the mandate of the President or on 7th January, Ghanaians have not been given the opportunity to vote.”
“So it is the responsibility of government itself, looking at how tight our presidential, parliamentary elections are to put in place or put together measures that will allow the EC to register if not at all, for the people who have turned 18 and that will enable political parties to put in place measures such as parliamentary primaries for the preparation of the 2020 elections.”