Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament

It appears all the bigwigs in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) have their minds set on Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to lead the party for the 2024 general election. 

One of the NPP big shots who is tipping the man publicly described by political watchers as Ghana’s most impactful Vice President is the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Joseph Osei-Owusu, also affectionately called Joe Wise. 

Mr. Osei-Owusu who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai in the Ashanti region pointed out that majority of his colleague lawmakers in the governing party are behind Vice President Bawumia in his bid to become president.

Speaking in an interview with Kumasi-based Oyerepa TV, Mr. Osei-Owusu, emphasised that he is one of the over 100 MPs who are supporting the presidential bid of Dr Bawumia.

“Most of the NPP MPs at the last count were about 118 MPs and I am one of them. I speak for myself and my support for Bawumia, and I know over 100 NPP MPs also support Bawumia,” he told Oyerepa TV.

The First Deputy Speaker explained that declaring his support for Bawumia does not violate the party’s order against active campaigning because most of the presidential candidates themselves have started campaigning.

According to him, the leadership of the party itself has called him to organise delegates in his constituency to meet some of the presidential hopefuls including Kennedy Agyapong.

Mr. Osei-Owusu also dismissed claims that the declaration of support to persons who will be contesting in the presidential primaries, will divide the NPP.

About 10 people have so far overtly and covertly declared their intention to contest in the NPP presidential primaries scheduled to take place on November 4, 2023.

They are Vice President Bawumia, Assin Central MP Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, former Minister for Trade and Industry Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, former Minister for Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie-Akoto and for NPP General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyapong.

The rest are former Minister for Energy Boakye Agyarko, former Minister for Trade and Regional Cooperation Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, former Attorney-General as well as Minister for Railways Development Joe Ghartey, former MP for Mampong Francis Addai Nimoh, and Energy consultant Kwadwo Nsafoah Poku.

Presidential & parliamentary primaries

NPP General Secretary Justin Kodua Frimpong in a statement issued about two weeks ago, said the governing party is expected to open nomination for the presidential elections on 26th May, and closed on 24th June, 2023.

The statement said the party will also conduct a Special Electoral College election on August 26 if the presidential hopefuls are more than five candidates in line with the NPP constitution.

Article 13 (9) of the party’s constitution 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 short-listed.

The Special Electoral College shall comprise of the following delegates:

(i)   the National Council

(ii)  the National Executive Committee

(iii) the Regional Executive Committees

(iv) all Members of National Council of Elders

(v)  all Party Members of Parliament

(vi) three (3) representatives from each of the special organs of the party.

(vii) past National Officers

(viii)      three (3) representatives each from every external branch

(ix) Founding Members during registration of the party at the Electoral Commission

(x)  all Party card bearing ministers

NPP will be electing the successor of President Nana Akufo-Addo on November 4, 2024 in all 275 constituencies across the country towards the 2024 general election.

The governing party has also scheduled to open nomination on 16th June and closed on 14th July, 2023, for the conduct of parliamentary primaries across all orphan constituencies or constituencies where the party do not have sitting Members of Parliament.

The elections in these constituencies are slated from August 1 to December 2, 2023.

This will be followed by the election of parliamentary candidates in 137 constituencies where the NPP has sitting MPs.

The party is scheduled to open and closed nomination from December 20, to January 4, 2024 with the primaries date slated on February 24, 2024. 

The National Council has also approved detailed rules and regulations to govern the conduct of the party’s internal contest.

Meanwhile, the party has barred all National, Regional, Constituency Executives and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives from contesting the incumbent MPs.