Mr. Seth Frimpong addressing the news conference in Aburi last Friday.

Three qualified aspirants of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Akuapem South Constituency have petitioned the governing party not to allow the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Frank Aidoo to participate in the rescheduled parliamentary primary.

Raising eligibility concerns, Eric Yeboah Apeadu, Eric Samuel Annor-Mensah, and Kwame Ofori Gyau, pointed out that allowing the MCE any window of opportunity to join the race when all doors have been closed on him, will be grossly unfair to aspirants who have been duly vetted and approved by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).

Accordingly, the aspirants have urged the party’s leadership to give a clear timeline on the primary, originally slated for January 27, 2024 to safeguard the democratic ethos of the party.

The petition jointly signed by the aspirants cautioned the governing party of looming crisis in the constituency if the MCE is allowed to participate in the primary.

Akuapem South constituency primary was put on hold after a controversial petition by already disqualified MCE Frank Aidoo.

Following the withdrawal from the parliamentary race by the incumbent MP, Mr. O. B. Amoah, the MCE asked the party to allow him to participate in the primary even though he did not go through the party’s vetting process

However, the three qualified aspirants wondered why the party should entertain the MCE when all nomination and vetting processes were closed for the primary to take place.

“Campaigning was underway for all of us when the MP wrote to the General Secretary that he was withdrawing from the contest in accordance with the elections regulations.

“Instead of the process continuing, we were informed that the MCE for Akuapem South, Mr. Frank Aidoo had petitioned that he should be allowed to contest even though he had not been vetted at the vetting on 4th January, 2024 held at the regional minister’s residence in Koforidua.

“We believe that the decision to allow the MCE’s petition to stop the election process is unfair and not in accordance with the election’s regulations,” the aspirants argued.

According to them, the situation transcends their individual candidacies, reflecting broader concerns for the NPP and the constituents who are entitled to a fair and timely electoral process.

“The current deadlock is a perilous precedent that could disenfranchise our supporters,” the trio warned in their joint petition.

They have therefore reiterated their call on the party’s General Secretary, Regional Chairman, and Constituency Chairman to immediately announce a new date for the primaries, stressing that any further delay could instigate confusion, crisis, and instability within the constituency.

Delegates denounce MCE

On the same issue, Akuapem South constituency delegates have rallied behind the aspirants’ cause, further demanding that Frank Aidoo abstains from the primary.

At a news conference held in Aburi on Friday, the delegates argued that after eight-year tenure as MCE characterised by divide and rule tactics, Mr. Frank Aidoo should not be allowed to represent the people again.

“We can retain the seat in the 2024 general election. We have confidence in the all the three aspirants the party has approved namely Eric Yeboah Apeadu, Eric Samuel Annor-Mensah, and Kwame Ofori-Gyau. Any of them who will be elected at the primary will be able to retain the seat of NPP because they have all helped the party in diverse ways and are also capable representing the constituency in Parliament.

“We are therefore ready to elect one them to represent the party and we assure NPP’s leadership, the people of Akuapem South that we would work hard to get the party’s parliamentary candidate elected as MP in the 2024 general election,” a former constituency secretary Seth Frimpong reiterated at the new conference.

Mr. Frimpong who is also the campaign manager of parliamentary aspirant Kwame Ofori-Gyau entreated the party to obey its own electoral rules.

“We are reminding the NPP leadership that these three aspirants were vetted by the party at Koforidua and NEC approved them because they are qualified. All them have campaigned and have told us what they can do for the constituency. We know who would be voting for and any of them who wins the primary, will be able to retain the seat for NPP with the support of all party members,” he emphasised.

Mr. Frimpong urged the party to hold the primary in Akuapem South by Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

He believes prompt resolution of this issue will reaffirm NPP’s commitment to democratic principles and ensures the electoral process moves forward without further hindrance.