Afoko ‘Fights’ Jake Over Conduct Of Elections

A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has called for an amendment to the party’s constitution to ban incumbent national executive members seeking re-election from playing any role in the organisation of the party’s elections.

Mr Paul Afoko, who has declared his intention to stand for the national chairmanship of the NPP, said executive members seeking re-election should not be allowed to play any role in the conduct of the polls, since their participation had the tendency to affect the final outcome.

Speaking on JOY FM, an Accra-based radio station, Mr Afoko asked: “How could one who is organising an election also be one of the aspiring candidates? Is it not a contradiction?”

“They design the rules of engagement and yet they want to join the race,” he added.

According to Mr Afoko, those executive members contesting positions in the party were behaving as judges, the jury and executors in their own case.

“Elections should be fair in order to eliminate possible doubt,” he said.

“Imagine Dr Afari-Gyan declaring to contest the Presidency at the same time that he is the Electoral Commissioner. How fair can that election be?” he asked.

Jake’s response

But the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, said the organisation of the NPP’s national election was not done by an individual but the National Election Committee (NEC) and supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).

He made it clear that those complaining about the conduct of the polls did not understand the party they wanted to lead.

According to him, there was no way an individual or executive member contesting for a position could rig the election in his or her favour, since it was the NEC and the EC that supervised the polls.

Reacting to the issue, Mr Kwame Osei Prempeh, who lost in his bid to become the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP, said he also believed there was the need for a separate body to be established to conduct future elections in the party.

“I think if national executive members declare their intention to contest for positions, they should excuse themselves from taking part in the organisation of the elections,” he said.

“We need to look at the party’s constitution critically in order to avoid all these issues and erase any possible doubt about the outcome of the elections,” he said.

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