A flagbearer aspirant of the governing New Patriotic Party, Boakye Agyarko, has announced his decision to refrain from the run-off election scheduled for Saturday, September 2, 2023, insisting that it is unconscionable for the party to change the rules of the “game” midstream.
Referencing the press engagement by the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party on Wednesday, 30th August 2023, after the National Council meeting on the resolution that National Council members will vote to break the tie of the NPP special presidential election, Mr Agyarko expressed his reservations about the outcome of the meeting.
Contained in a letter dated, August 31, 2023, Mr Agyarko expressed that the party’s position on the run-off scheduled for Saturday, 2nd September 2023 was reaffirmed by the Chairman of the Elections Committee during his address to the party after the first round of the Special College elections, where he stated that candidates who voted in the first round will be the ones to vote in the second round.
In light of this, he questioned the rationale behind the party going against its own dictates.
Furthermore, Mr Agyarko equally referred to the press engagement by the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party on Wednesday, 30th August, 2023, after the National Council meeting on the resolution that National Council members will vote to break the tie of the NPP special presidential election.
Citing Article 13, clause (9) of the party’s constitution, which states that: ‘where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the Party’s Presidential Candidate, a Special Electoral College shall cast their votes by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be short-listed’, he indicated that the constitution of the party is being violated.
To this end, he noted that it is totally unacceptable to him that such an “unconstitutional act can be perpetuated on the altar of expediency”.
“Am I to surmise that the party did not know the cost implication? It is unconscionable that the rules of the game will be changed midstream. Rules and regulations that are flip-flopped in such a manner is only detrimental to fair play and justice. It is a clear violation of the party’s constitution and the guidelines for the Special Electoral college. It is an unconstitutional act which I cannot allow myself to be associated with.”Boakye Agyarko
Justifying his stance, Mr Agyarko explained that the party in its own approved guidelines for the Special Electoral College issued by the Presidential Elections Committee, stated that in the event of 2,3, or 4 contestants sharing the total results with the remaining contestants not obtaining any votes, there will be a run-off for those who obtained zero votes to add up to the number to make up to the five.
He further buttressed his point, stating that the Special Electoral College shall comprise the National Council, National Executive Committee, Regional Executive Committees, all members of the National Council of Elders, all Party Members of Parliament and three representatives of each of the special organs of the Party.
Additionally, he noted that past National Officers, three representatives each from every external branch, founding members during the registration of the Party at the Electoral Commission and Party Card bearing Ministers are to take part of the voting process.
These, Mr Agyarko highlighted, are what the party’s constitution and published guidelines mandate as lawful and constitutional.
“The constitutional Special Electoral College with the mandate to short-list the list of aspirants is and can be none other than the full complement listed under Article 13, Clause (9). It is not within the province or power of anybody to truncate this list and substitute it with anything else.”Boakye Agyarko
Describing the party’s move as totally unconstitutional, that a sub-section – about 135 National Council members of the Special Electoral College should assume the function on behalf of the 955 delegates who voted in the first round, he stated that the decision does not sit well with him.
To this end, Mr Agyarko refused to be a part of such an “act that seeks to unjustly truncate a previously agreed upon process”, and cannot be part of what is about to be done on Saturday, 2nd September 2023.
“I cannot, with a clear conscience make such an impermissible concession to such an errant decision. I therefore, respectfully, serve this notice to refrain from such a contest. As always, I wish the party well.”Boakye Agyarko