Political science lecturer Dr. Abdul-Jalilu Ateku of the University of Ghana says the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) requirement for flagbearer aspirants to sign an undertaking not to resign from the party if they lose the primary is invalid.
He believes that an aspirant may still choose to resign if they perceive the elections as not being conducted in a free and fair manner.
All four aspirants competing in the NPP’s flagbearer election have complied with this commitment, following discussions with the National Council of Elders and the aspirants.
In an interview with Citi News, Dr. Ateku said it is important for the party to conduct a free and fair election on November 4 to ensure that all candidates are content with the election’s outcome.
“If political parties want to keep people, then they must do things that will make the party attractive, rather than trying to force people. So, if the NPP is asking contestants to sign an undertaking so that they will not leave. I think it’s something that will not hold.”
“People will still leave if they do not organize credible elections. And people lose and they realize that they lost because someone procured the elections fraudulently, people will leave, and they cannot do anything about it.”
Dr. Ateku’s comments come as the NPP prepares for its presidential primaries on Saturday, November 4. The four aspirants, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Former Agriculture Minister Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, former MP for Mampong Francis Addai-Nimoh and Assin Central MP Kennedy Agyapong, have all signed the undertaking.
The decision was reached at a meeting between the National Council of Elders and the aspirants.
Addressing the press after the meeting, the General Secretary of the party, Justin Frimpong Koduah, said that the aspirants have also agreed to accept the results of the primary and to put the interest of the party first.
“We were able to get all the four aspirants to sign an undertaking and in summary, they are to accept the primary results, and promote peace and cohesion,” Koduah said. “If they don’t win, they will not resign from the party and, support the winner of the primary.”
The aspirants have also agreed to “ensure and enforce mechanisms that have been established by the party and also work within the timelines and duration that have been established by the party from now till the results are declared and to respect the decision of the delegates of our party.”