Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has suspended its parliamentary primaries which was originally scheduled for April 25, 2020.
The exercise was to elect parliamentary candidates where the party has sitting MPs ahead of the country’s general election slated for December this year. The party had earlier elected candidates at constituencies with opposition MPs – known to the party as ‘orphan constituencies’.
The decision to suspend the primaries was taken by the party at a National Steering Committee meeting held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, to conform with the President’s ban on social gatherings as part of national efforts towards the containment of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The National Steering Committee is the body responsible for overseeing the daily management of the party, and thus, mandated to “act on behalf of the party on urgent matters” such as in the circumstances “we find ourselves as a party and nation owing to the COVID-19 pandemic”, a statement from the party’s general secretary John Boadu said.
It would be recalled that President Akufo-Addo on April 12, 2020, extended, pursuant to EI 64, the ban on social gathering including religious and political activities by additional two weeks. i.e. from April 12 to April 26, 2020, as part of measures to stop the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the country.
“In the light of this development, the party is unable to hold the primaries as planned, and has accordingly postponed same till further notice. The party regrets all inconveniences that this may occasion, and hopes to hold this crucial exercise, sooner than later,” the statement said.
The NPP has 169 sitting Members of Parliament out of the total 275 seats in parliament.
By Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH