Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) delegates may be electing their parliamentary candidates in the remaining 168 constituencies electronically, as the party explores other options to hold its primaries due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
The polls which will be held in these constituencies have sitting Members of Parliament (MPs). Should the decision be endorsed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, there would be an online/offline voting for all delegates.
All delegates will vote with their unique numbers.
The Director of Research and Elections of the NPP, Mr Evans Nimako, told the Daily Graphic that the party was considering various options to ensure that the parliamentary primaries took place without a hitch.
He explained that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issue of social and physical distancing, electronic voting had come up strongly.
He said with e-voting, there would not be the need for delegates to converge on voting centres as they could conveniently vote from their phones in the comfort of their homes or at the constituency secretariat.
He said corporate organisations, schools and other groups were using technology to hold meetings, conferences and learn, hence the decision of the party to employ innovative solutions to ensure that the party conducted a successful delegates’ conference.
Mr Nimako expressed the hope that all stakeholders would support the initiative should the NEC opt for the e-voting.
He explained that although the elections would be done at the constituency level, only the aspirants or their agents would be accredited to be at the collation centres.
That way, he said, the number of party members present would be limited to make it easy for the party to implement all the safety protocols.
When asked if unauthorised persons would not be able to vote in the elections, he said the IT directorate of the party had the database of all the delegates in each constituency.
Although the e-voting process would take place at the constituency level, he said the IT Directorate and the national party officers would be managing the system to avoid any infiltration.
He said there would not be any manipulation because the voting and results would be appearing on screen per the arrangements being put in place.
Mr Nimako said the NEC was yet to meet to discuss the report of the Vetting and Appeals committees on qualified candidates.
He said when the National Chairman called for the meeting, the mode of voting, especially the e-voting, would be key on the table.
Source: Daily Mail GH with additional files from Graphic