June 13 primaries NPP sets guidelines for parliamentary primaries

The NPP has put out a set of guidelines to regulate the conduct of its parliamentary primaries.

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has put out a set of guidelines to regulate the conduct of its impending parliamentary primaries scheduled for Saturday, June 13, 2015.

A statement issued yesterday and signed by General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong, said as decided by the National Executive Committee (NEC), the National Secretariat in consultation with the Constituency Elections Committee and the Electoral Commission, had agreed on the guidelines and notice which include the fact that the conduct of the elections would be held under the general supervision of the Electoral Commission and under the general provisions of the Public Elections Regulations, 2012 C.I. 75.

Barring any last-minute hitches, voting is expected to begin at 7am and end by 3pm, with voters arriving at designated polling stations after 3pm not likely to be allowed to vote.

Only Albums/Registers used for the 18 October presidential primaries are expected to be used for the primaries with an addition of five members of the Council of Elders and five Patrons from each constituency.

District Electoral Officers are expected to prescribe polling stations in the various centres where they are to supervise the elections in consultation with the constituency executives.

As the rule has it, each of the candidates in the heavily contested primaries is entitled to two polling agents at every polling station nationwide.

Only one would however, be engaged at any given time.

Candidates are therefore expected to submit the names and addresses of their polling agents and the polling stations to which the agents are to be assigned, to the District Electoral Office not later than three days to the election

Candidates would however, be allowed to change their agents under special circumstance and appoint a new agent.

That notwithstanding, it has been provided that “where an expression is used that requires, authorises or implies that an act or thing is to be done in the presence of the candidate, the non-attendance of the candidate or the agent of the candidate, at the time and place, shall not invalidate the act or thing done, among other provisions.”

The Electoral College for the election would be constituency executives, all electoral area coordinators, five members of the constituency Council of Elders, any founding member from the constituency who is a signatory to the registration document of the party at the Electoral Commission.

Under the strict terms of the guidelines, any voter who desires to vote would therefore be expected to appear in person at the polling station during polling hours to be identified and to go through the process before voting for a candidate of his or her choice.

The NPP has therefore asked those who would be voting in Saturday’s election to refrain from showing the thumb-printed ballot paper to any person to indicate his or her choice and also refrain from taking a picture of the ballot paper before casting his or her vote.

All founding members are required to vote at polling stations in constituencies where the voter is located. 

Where the proceedings at any of the designated polling stations are interrupted or obstructed by flood, storm or other natural catastrophe, provision has been made. “The Presiding Officer shall, in consultation with the Returning Officer and subject to the approval of the Commission, adjourn the proceedings to the following day.”

Also, in constituencies where a poll is adjourned, the hours of polling on the day to which it was adjourned shall be the same as on the original polling day.

After the close of polls, Presiding Officers are expected to in the presence of the agents of the candidates, count the ballot papers at the polling station, record the total number of votes cast in favour of each candidate as well as total number of rejected ballots, sign a declaration and cause the agents to sign as to the results of the election, announce the results of the voting at that polling station and give each agent a copy of the declaration of results and subsequently in accordance with the provisions of the party constitution.

They would then declare the candidate who receives the highest number of valid votes cast winner.

“Where at the close of nomination, only one candidate filed, he/she is deemed to have been elected unopposed,” the statement said.

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