The leadership of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has urged would-be parliamentary and presidential aspirants to abide by the rules and regulations set out to guide the upcoming presidential and parliamentary primaries.
The National Chairman of the party, Stephen Ayesu Ntim, gave the charge when he addressed a retreat organised by the Greater Accra Regional NPP Council of Elders at Peduase.
He also stressed that it would be in the interest of the NPP for all party members to respect the party’s constitution as it starts the process of selecting its presidential and parliamentary candidates for the 2024 general elections
“I wish to reiterate the point that as national officers of the party, not only are we going to be impartial, but will also ensure a level playing field for all prospective aspirants in the conduct of both the parliamentary and presidential primaries. Let’s therefore respect the rules of engagement,” he stated.
The NPP Chair also announced that the party is currently engaging stakeholders, and would very soon come out with a timetable for the conduct of the primaries.
Mr Ntim said during the party’s last Steering Committee, National Executive Committee and National Council meetings, it was resolved that due to the importance of the exercise on the party’s electoral fortunes in 2024, there was the need to build consensus among all relevant stakeholders before deciding on timelines for the conduct of the primaries.
“At the right time when a broader stakeholder consultation is done and this decision is eventually taken, the party would issue appropriate rules and regulations to govern the conduct of these primaries,” Mr Ntim said.
He further pleaded with party members to abide by these rules and regulations in the interest of the party.
The NPP National Chair also assured the rank and file of the party that no candidate would be sidelined in the oncoming processes for the presidential and parliamentary bids.
He stressed that the presidential and parliamentary primaries would be transparent to the extent that the party will not impose any unnecessary restrictions on any person who has the ambition to contest.
“As the National Chairman of this great party, I promise to ensure a free and fair internal poll to elect our next presidential and parliamentary candidates. Take this from me, I will not take sides in these two crucial elections. No candidate will be removed from the album. I want to leave a good legacy behind, and therefore the processes will be free and fair in my tenure, and my support also goes out to all the candidates,” he stated.
Mr Ntim encouraged prominent leaders of the party to be cautious in taking sides with candidates in order to avoid mistrust and malice after the elections. He also advised candidates and their followers to avoid campaign of insult and personal attack.
He further admonished them to desist from indulging in dirty politicking, and avoid being swayed by unscrupulous politicians who do not think well about the success of the party and the government.
He disclosed that measures were being put in place to ensure that the party develops a communication strategy capable of positively influencing the electorate to appreciate the gains made from 2016 through 2020 to the crucial 2024 elections.
According to him, the government needs every party faithful to work together towards ‘breaking the 8’ in 2024, and therefore urged candidates to learn to tolerate one another.
He also urged the rank and file of the party and delegates to sacrifice, and stay united before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary primaries for the good of the NPP.
“I believe tolerating each other will place the party on a good footing for the 2024 general elections. The presidential and parliament primaries should not break us, but help us to bond and go in to the 2024 general elections stronger,” he stressed.