Some supporters of a New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary aspirant in Saboba in the Northern Region, Emmanuel Kotin on Saturday morning (June 6, 2020) burnt tyres in front of the party’s constituency office to register their displeasure over his disqualification from the race.
The supporters massed up at the entry to the constituency party office and smashed the louvre blades of the window.
The supporters allege that the defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwol, is behind the disqualification of Emmanuel Kotin.
Chanting “No Kotin No Vote”, they called on the National Executive Council of the NPP to reverse the disqualification of their candidate immediately.
Leader of the group, Samuel Oyal who spoke to Citi News, said the supporters have threatened to burn the party office in three days if the decision of the NEC is not reversed.
“We have burnt the tyres in front of the party office because we can see that there is no fair play in NPP today. Emmanuel Kotin has been disqualified unfairly. We believe that the basic principle of any democracy is the sovereign will of the people but that is not in the NPP today. He has been disqualified without any reason. All that we know is, the disqualification is because of the personal interest of the Defence Minister. All that we are saying is, Emmanuel Kotin be reinstated in three days. If that is not done, the party will see mass destruction and voter apathy in Saboba on December 7, 2020.”
The upcoming NPP primaries have been characterized by allegations that some executives are making 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.