NPP parliamentary primaries postponed to June 13 as affirmative action policy is suspended

The National Council of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Wednesday, April 1 postponed the party’s parliamentary primaries to Saturday, June 13 from the originally scheduled date of May 24.

It has also suspended the affirmative action policy, which would have allowed only females contest its 16 women Members of Parliament (MPs).

The decisions were taken at an emergency meeting held at the African Regency Hotel.

Speaking on TV3’s News in Brief a few minutes after the meeting, General Secretary Kwabena Agyei Agyepong said the Council thoroughly reflected on the various views expressed over the policy.

“Whereas the Council accepts the principle of affirmative action as far as female representation is concerned, for the upcoming primaries, the Council directed that the earlier decision be withdrawn in favour of preparing a comprehensive affirmative action policy.”

An implementation framework, he added, is to be worked out for adoption at the party’s next annual national conference in November 2015.

At a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on Monday, March 23, a decision was reached to allow only females contest the 16 women MPs of the party while 12 constituencies in the Greater Accra Region were to be contested only by Ga indigenes.

“In the upcoming primaries, the Council took the opportunity to encourage a lot more women to stand as parliamentary candidates but opened for all candidates.”

Women aspirants will still enjoy a 50 per cent rebate on the filing fees. So, will young and physically challenged members.

Mr Agyepong also announced that the closure of nominations has been extended to April 30 while elections will be held on June 13.

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He had blamed the delay in the printing of nomination forms on the erratic power supply.

Notice of polls will be served all constituencies on May 19, Mr Agyepong told TV3’s Wendy Laryea.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana