One of the Presidential aspirants of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, has withdrawn from Saturday’s run-off to break the tie between him and Francis Addai-Nimoh, citing as unconstitutional the decision to use the National Council members of the party as delegates for the election.
The run-off is to elect the fifth person to bring the number of aspirants to five as required by the party’s constitution to contest in the November 4 presidential primary to elect a flag bearer for the party for the 2024 general election.
Mr Agyarko’s withdrawal followed an announcement by the party on Wednesday, August 30, 2023 that the National Council would constitute an electoral college to break the tie between him and Mr Addai-Nimoh who were both 5th in the just-ended super delegates conference.
A statement issued and signed by Mr Agyarko dated Thursday, August 31, 2023 announcing his withdrawal from the run-off, described the decision by the party as unconstitutional for the National Council to shortlist a few individuals to represent the 955 individuals who participated in the first round of the election to select the five aspirants for the November 4 presidential primary.
“Therefore, it is totally unconstitutional that a sub-section (about 135 National Council members) of the Special Electoral College should assume the function on behalf of the 955 delegates who voted in the first round,” he stated.
He cited Article 13 clause (9) of the party’s constitution which states that “Where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the Party’s Presidential Candidate, a Special Electoral College shall cast their votes by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be shortlisted,” to buttress his point.
The Special Electoral College comprised of the National Council; National Executive Committee, the Regional Executive Committees; the National Council of Elders; Members of Parliament; three representatives of each of the special organs of the party; past National Officers; three representatives each from every external branch; Founder members during the registration of the party at the Electoral Commission and all party card bearing ministers.
Mr Agyarko also quoted the guidelines issued by the party for the election, “in the event of two, three or four of the aspirants sharing the total results with the remaining contestants not obtaining any votes, there will be a run-off for those who obtained zero votes to add up to make up the five, while in the event of a tie between two or more candidates for the fifth position, a run-off election will be conducted for those who will tie on Saturday, September 2, 2023” to state his claims.
“It is totally unacceptable to me that such an unconstitutional act can be perpetuated on the altar of expediency.
Am I to surmise that the party did not know the cost implication?
It is unconscionable that the rules of the game will be changed midstream.”
“Rules and regulations that are flip-flopped in such a manner is only detrimental to fair play and justice.
It is a clear violation of the party’s constitution and the guidelines for the Special Electoral College.
It is an unconstitutional act which I cannot allow myself to be associated with.”
“I refuse to be part of such an act that seeks to unjustly truncate a previously agreed upon process, and cannot be part of what is about to be done on Saturday, September 2, 2023.
I cannot, with a clear conscience, make such an impermissible concession to such an errant decision,” it concluded.
A statement issued and signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Frimpong Kodua, to explain the decision taken by the party to break the tie between the two presidential aspirants after the party’s National Council meeting last Wednesday, August 30, 2023 said it was in pursuance of the provisions of Articles 10(3) (1) and 18 of the NPP Constitution having regard to the supreme interest and well-being of the party.
The party said the decision to use the National Council members to break the tie was to save cost and time.