The Presidential Elections Committee of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has assured all stakeholders, particularly the 10 presidential aspirants, that it will implement to the letter the operational guidelines issued for the party’s Special Electoral College election which has been slated for Saturday, August 26, 2023.
The guidelines agreed upon by the aspirants will regulate the conduct of the Special Electoral College election to prune the 10 presidential aspirants to five, and for the presidential primary set for November 4 to finally elect the flag bearer of the party for the 2024 general election.
The Secretary to the Presidential Elections Committee, William Yamoah, gave the assurance in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
It was to reassure the aspirants of the determination of the committee which is chaired by a former Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, to organise a free, fair and transparent election in the Special Electoral College polls and the national congress.
Some of the key guidelines of the party are that no aspirant will appoint government officials and any delegate listed to vote in the elections as agents (whether Special Electoral College or the Main Election).
The government officials include but are not limited to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives, Ministers of State and Chief Executive Officers of state-owned enterprises, Regional Executives and Constituency Executives.
The guidelines further indicate that the Electoral Commission (EC) and the Police should enforce and prevent delegates from taking their phones and other photographic gadgets to the voting screen.
Additionally, the EC will use complex serial numbers to avoid ballots being traced to voters at a later date, and that the Electoral Management body should deny influencers and “Machomen” access to the voting centres.
Meanwhile, the walk in concept rather than identifying delegates by name and the absence of any smart devices or camera at the voting centres have been hailed by the presidential aspirants who agreed to the set of rules.
The complex serialisation employed for the elections is said to be a way of preventing victimisation.
It is to hide the identities of delegates and prevent candidates from identifying who voted for or against them.
Reliable sources close to the EC and the leadership of the party stated that the strong serialisation concept had been employed to ensure that delegates’ identities were hidden.
It said those models were introduced to safeguard the identity of the delegates and make it practically impossible to identify who voted for or against who.
Concerning disputes, all disputes, if any, arising from the process are to be referred to the Presidential Elections Committee for prompt and amicable resolution.
The party also says persons whose names are not in the album shall not be allowed to vote.
The guidelines further indicates that delegates of the Special Electoral College shall, as proof of identification, show either the Party Membership Identity (I.D) Cards, National Voters I.D Cards or Ghana Card.
The poll will start at 9:00 a.m. and close at 1:00 p.m. at all centres.
Ballots will be counted and declared immediately after the close of poll at each voting center, and each aspirants will have two accredited agents but at all times he would be represented by one Polling Agent at each Polling Station
The guidelines also indicate that the Presiding Officer at the Voting Centre will announce the voting center results.