The Communication Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the party is shocked at the height of violence and vote-buying that characterized the recently held parliamentary primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
He said while such activities have been witnessed during the primaries of other political parties, the scenes from the NPP’s primaries of vote-buying were “unprecedented.”
“Our concern and I believe the concern of many well-meaning Ghanaians, has to do with the alarming levels of opulence and ostentation, vote-buying and showboating that we saw, coupled with the alarming level of violence which in our view is unprecedented,” he said on Eyewitness News on Monday.
Sammy Gyamfi said the NDC was surprised at the turn of events and believes that it is proof of high levels of corruption within the Akufo-Addo government.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) held its primaries on Saturday in constituencies it has sitting MPs across the country.
While the process was reported to be largely smooth, Citi News reported of an incident where police at the Otaten polling station in the Ablekuma North constituency in the Greater Accra Region stopped some supporters of aspirants contesting in the election from giving out envelopes, believed to contain money, to delegates.
Some delegates at Okaikoi South also mentioned in a Citi News interview that they had received monies and household items from some of the aspirants.
Sammy Gyamfi said the NPP primaries was as though the roles were being sold to the highest bidder.
“Never in the history of this country have we seen candidates in an internal election of any political party distributing as much as 6,000, flat-screen TV, motorcycles…We are not talking about transportation, we are talking about huge amounts of money as much as GHS6,000 including dollars and that is why somebody like Prof. Amoako Baah who is an NPP member has described that process as not parliamentary primaries but rather a parliamentary auction. They were just auctioning positions. The positions were for the taking of the highest bidder,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NPP in a statement said it 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 re-election bids.