19/06/2020: 22:50 ——Welcome to our live update of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) long outstanding parliamentary primaries for the 168 constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
The primaries have been outstanding since April 2020 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) which culminated in the imposition of restrictions on movements and mass gatherings as a preventive measure.
Our reporters are scattered across the country to bring you live updates from all constituencies.
June 20, 2020
7:00 —- Good morning and welcome to our coverage of the NPP’s parliamentary primaries. A total of 374 aspirants are contesting in the 168 constituencies; of which 325 are men and 51 are women.
07:40 Meanwhile voting is already underway in some constituencies
07:59—-At the Yendi Constituency, 595 delegates are expected to cast their votes at 31 polling stations including the collation centre. All is set here for voting to start, EC officials, agents of the aspirants and security both Military and Police are all here.
8:30 Voting underway in Asante Akim North despite reports that an injunction has been secured to stop the elections from happening
Voting is underway across the country in the selection of parliamentary candidates for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the December 2020 Elections.
Delegates in the Kwadaso constituency of Ashanti will have their turn on Wednesday, June 24 while two other constituencies – Asante Akyem North and Subin – that would complete the exercise have been put on hold owing to court injunctions.
The NPP’s Director of Research and Elections, Evans Nimako who confirmed the party has been served with the injunctions, said the National Executive Council of the party has endorsed 67 individuals as sole candidates in 67 constituencies.
In all about 102,000 delegates are involved in electing the parliamentary candidates.
From the Tema East Constituency in Greater Accra, Benjamin Xornam Glover reports that the voting started on schedule as delegates trickled in wearing face masks and gloves in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
There are 11 polling stations in the Tema East constituency.
The incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr Daniel Titus Nii Kwartei Titus-Glover is facing stiff competition from Mr Benjamin Ashitey Amarh.
At the Early Childhood Development Centre polling station in the Tweadease Primary School, 26 delegates out of 52 delegates in the roll had cast their ballot as at 7:30am.
The Presiding Officer, Mr Abraham Osom told the Graphic Online that the process had been smooth so far.
47 delegates out of 115 voters had cast their ballot at the Padmore Primary School as of 7:50 am.
A total of 777 delegates comprising constituency council of elders, council of patrons, Electoral Area Coordinators, and polling station executives are expected to vote in the primary in the Tema East Constituency.
Voting delayed in Ablekuma North
From the Ablekuma North in Greater Accra, Kester Aburam Korankye reports the start of the voting delayed.
As of 8:30 am the 945 delegates were still waiting to cast their votes.
At the Afropa polling station in Darkuman East electoral area, voting had been suspended when the Graphic Online arrived at 8 am.
The situation was same at the Christ Ebenezer School in the Darkuman West electoral area earlier.
Four candidates, Mr Kwadwo Adjei-Barwuah, Ms Sheila Bartels, Mr John Agbotey and Nana Akua Owusu Afriyieh are contesting.
Although delegates had converged at the voting centres, with officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) present, no delegate had been allowed to vote as at 8:30 am.
From the twin-city of Sekondi-Takoradi, Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu reports the voting started amidst strict enforcement of Covid-19 safety protocols.
Those who arrived at the centres, Electoral Officers and agents for aspirants among others were all in their face masks.
Officials also provided hand sanitizers for those in the queue to vote. Veronica buckets with soap and water for the washing of hands were also at the voting centres.
As of 9am, the voting process was orderly at various centres visited by Graphic Online.
From the Bono Region, Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah and Biiya Mukusah Ali reports that voting in all the 1,243 polling stations in the 322 electoral areas were ongoing.
In all, a total of 25 aspirants are contesting the internal polls in six out of the 12 constituencies in the region.
Five Members of Parliament are standing unopposed while the party has already elected its candidate for the Banda Constituency which is the only seat being held by the opposition NDC in the region.
The unopposed aspirants are Mr Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah, Sunyani West, Siaka Stevens, Jaman North, Ali Maiga Halidu, Dormaa West, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Dormaa Central and Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng, Berekum West.
A total number of 6,205 delegates are voting in the 1,243 are taking part in the exercise across the six contesting constituencies.
The constituencies are Sunyani East where incumbent Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh is facing a stiff challenge by a colleague lawyer, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah and Berekum East where the sitting MP, Dr Kwabena Twum-Nuamah is being challenged by Paul Ofori-Amanfo, Solomon Kyere-Boadu and Nelson Kyeremeh.
In the Wenchi Constituency, incumbent Professor Gyan-Baffuor, who is the Minister for Planning is being challenged by Tina Abrefa-Gyan, Kojo Frempong, Yaw Opoku Atuahene and Albert Ameyaw while the Deputy Minister for Aviation and MP for Jaman South, Yaw Afful is being challenged by Alex Kwasi Awuah and Prince Yeboah Marfo.
In the Dormaa East Constituency, incumbent William Kwasi Sabi who is the Deputy Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation is contesting the primary with Paul Apraku Twum Barima and Kwabena Sarfo-Kantanka while the attempt by the sitting MP for Tain, Gabriel Osei to contest for his second term is being challenged by Alex Ofori and Alexander Ababio.
Voting at the Magazine Polling Station in the Sunyani East Constituency was smooth at the time Graphic Online visited.
As of 7.40 am, eight out of the 25 delegates expected to cast their ballots had already done so.
All the voters wore NPP branded face masks while a Veronica bucket filled with water for handwashing and hand sanitisers had been provided for the delegates to sanitise their hands.
At the Ahenboboano Electoral Area, also in the Sunyani East Constituency, 15 out of the 25 delegates had already cast their votes as of 7.30 am.
There were security men stationed at all the polling stations that the Daily Graphic visited while no incident had occurred as of the time of filing this report.
Desmond Kofi Tawiah reports from the Dome-Kwabenya constituency, where the incumbent MP, Ms. Sarah Adwoa Safo is facing stiff competition from Ghana’s Ambassador to India Mr. Mike Oquaye Jnr, that voting started as scheduled with delegates trooping in clad in face masks.
There are 10 polling centres in the constituency with 1040 delegates expected to cast their vote.
At the Graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences, University of Ghana Atomic Campus at Dome, hand sanitizers were positioned at the entrance for delegates to sanitize their hands before taking part in the voting process. However, there were no veronica buckets in sight.
Some party faithfuls capitalized on the opportunity to cash in on business as party paraphernalia such as scarf, flags and hats were put on sale.
At 8:20 am, the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Ms Sarah Adwoa Safo cast her vote.
Speaking to the media, she expressed her satisfaction at the conduct of the elections so far with the necessary COVID-19 protocols being observed.
She was optimistic that, she would be victorious once again, at the end of the day.
“I am very hopeful. I declare victory, favor from the Lord. I believe that he is my strength, my salvation and he will give me victory” Ms Adwoa Safo stated.
Severious Kale-Dery reports that voting started in all the 13 polling stations throughout the Adentan Constituency on schedule.
At 7:34 am when Graphic Online got to the collation centre at The Light Academy (TLA) designated for only the constituency executives, elders and patrons, and one of the contestants Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Mantey had already voted.
The incumbent, Mr Yaw Buaben Asamoa is bent on picking the slot but has to struggle it out with four other contenders.
The four are Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Mantey, Madam Freda Agyemang Sarpong, Mr Rahman Zak and Mr Alfred Ababio Kumi.
The Constituency Chairman Mr Koku Acolatse said everything was in place and voting was going on smoothly in all the polling centres.
At the New Legon Electoral Area at Institute of Accountancy polling station, eight out of 46 candidates have already voted by 8:30 am according to the Electoral Area Coordinator Mr Ernest Agyekum Tuffour.
The Adenta Community Centre polling station recorded the highest turnout with 56 out of the 135 casting their votes as at 9am.
But the significant feature at the Adentan Community School Centre was the booming of business as some party members cashed in to sell party paraphernalia.
Voting started exactly at 7am at the Imnacipation Catholic School polling station within the Okaikwei north constituency in Accra, reports Juliet Sarfo.
All delegates were made to observe all the protocol measures amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The incumbent Member of Parliament, Mr Fuseini Issah is facing stiff competition from Mr Kenneth Korankyi.
As of 9 am about 75 delegates had cast their vote.
Samuel Duodu, reports that voting started n the Nanton constituency in the Northern Region at 9 am instead of 7 am due to an early morning rain that hit parts of the region.
A total of 317 delegates including constituency executives, council of elders, polling station executives and coordinators are to vote in 21 electoral areas in the constituency.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nanton constituency communication officer, Mr Yakubu Osman popularly known as ” O.C” who spoke to Graphic Online about the delay.
Nanton has been identified as one of the hotspots in the NPP primaries in the Northern region.
The contest is a two-horse race affair between Mr Mohammed Hardi Tuferu, the sitting Member of Parliament (MP) for Nanton and Mr Abdulai Kamaldeen, a former NPP Nasara National Coordinator.
10:43 —-An agent for one of the aspirants in the NPP’s parliamentary primaries at Effiduase- Asokore Kwame Adom-Appiah has been arrested.
The agent identified as Atuanor is said to have engaged the delegate in a fistfight before the police-military team arrived to pick him up.
He claimed the name of the delegate, who is the coordinator for Akwamu was not in the main album so he will not allow him to vote.
Kwame Adom-Appiah, a private legal practitioner is contesting the incumbent Dr Nana Ayew Afriyie.
more to follow…