The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has alleged that last Saturday’s parliamentary primary by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was characterized by vote-buying and electoral violence.
NDC also accused the NPP of violating COVID-19 safety protocols during the exercise.
Speaking at the NDC’s Weekly Press Briefing on Monday, the NDC’s National Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi said these actions have rendered the COVID-19 restriction laws counterproductive.
“The alarming level of vote-buying and opulence we saw in the NPP this time around is unprecedented. We have never seen this level of ostentation in our body politics before and that should give every democracy-loving Ghanaian, genuine cause of concern. Even more bizarre were reports of how social distancing, wearing of face masks, and other critical COVID-19 preventive protocols we denied and thrown to the dogs as delegates congregated in their numbers, mingled and interacted, including wild jubilation in the full glare of the police who are supposed to enforce the law.”
The NPP on June 20, 2020, held its parliamentary primaries in about 168 constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament.
A total of 374 aspirants in the 168 constituencies; of which 325 are men and 51 are women contested.
The elections were held within the electoral areas to ensure social distancing and COVID-19 safety protocols, but reports from the grounds showed that there were large crowd gatherings at some of the polling centres.
Despite admitting instances of violence at some of the voting areas, the NPP in a statement was convinced that the election was conducted in a free and fair manner.
It also added that its ability to hold the elections in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic shows that life can return to normal amidst the execution of constitutional mandates.
“Day in day out, the New Patriotic Party continues to set new standards in confronting challenges with the development of our constitutional democracy. Indeed, we have demonstrated beyond doubt, that as a people, we can overcome the limitations this COVID-19 pandemic poses to our society and manage it in a manner that enables us to continue to carry out our constitutional privileges, economic activities and social lives”, portions of the statement read.
In all, 40 incumbent MPs lost their reelection bids.