Some New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in the Asokwa Constituency of the Ashanti Region have threatened to stop supporting the party in the upcoming 2020 general elections if a parliamentary candidate is imposed on them.
Although the party has not officially released the names of the aspirants who qualify to contest in the June 20 primaries, the supporters say they have received information that the only aspirant contesting the incumbent MP has allegedly been disqualified by the national executives.
The agitated party members as a way of showing their dissatisfaction converged near the Susa river at Atonsu to invoke curses and urged the party leadership to ensure there is a fair contest in the constituency.
Some of the agitated supporters at Asokwa spoke to Citi News and expressed worry over the development.
“The reason we are invoking the curses is that we want peace to prevail in this community. We don’t know why the constituency executives have decided to disqualify the aspirant.”
This trend of invoking curses follows a similar trend where both Juaben and Offinso South NPP supporters invoked curses and performed some rituals as a way of protesting an alleged decision to disqualify some aspirants in the NPP parliamentary race.
Caution from constituency organizer
But, the NPP constituency organizer at Asokwa, Eric Osei urged the party leadership to handle the matter peacefully to avoid apathy in the upcoming general elections.
“We want to caution the NEC against any attempt to do anything sinister. This is a democratic party. We must make the delegates decide on which candidate they prefer because they have vowed to vote against any candidate that is imposed on them.”
The upcoming NPP primaries have been characterized by allegations by some constituency executives to make incumbent MPs run unopposed by disqualifying some aspirants.
For instance, 64 candidates were passed in the Eastern region after the vetting.
Notable among the candidates who did not pass the vetting process was Gloria Ofori-Boadu who had been disqualified from contesting the Abuakwa South constituency.
In the Offinso South Constituency, aggrieved delegates marched to the Offin river to perform a ritual to resist any attempt by party executives to impose the incumbent MP, Abdallah Bandah on them.
The situation is not different in the Juaben Constituency of the Ashanti Region where delegates have protested the decision of the party executives to disqualify an aspirant, Francis Owusu, from the constituency’s primaries.
The NPP has set Saturday, June 20, 2020, for its suspended presidential and parliamentary primaries.
The election which was supposed to have come off on April 25, 2020, was postponed indefinitely due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country and the related restrictive measures announced by the President.
At a Steering Committee meeting held on Monday [June 1, 2020], the party agreed to hold the election in electoral areas rather than at the constituency level in order to ensure social distancing.
NPP was to use the primaries to elect parliamentary candidates in constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament, ahead of the 2020 general elections.
Many parliamentary aspirants suspended their campaigns due to the decision.
But with the easing of some of the COVID-19 induced restrictions, some aspirants have resumed some level of campaign.