Seven parliamentary aspirants of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) stepped down while three others were disqualified before the party’s vetting committee in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The Northern Region recorded the highest number of parliamentary nominations with 120 aspirants filing to contest in the 31 constituencies in the region.
The stepped down candidates include Alfred Donkor Odzidzator, Tamale South constituency, Bernard Jagri Bagyepu and Noah Megma Shei both from Bimbila Constituency, and Mohammed Ali, Yagaba/Kubori Constituency.
The rest are Issifu Sulemana Frinjei and Hajia Mary Nakobu, both from Chereponi Constituency, and Mumuni Abdul-Hamid, Salaga North Constituency.
Those disqualified are Ali Joseph Lachir from Bunkprugu Constituency, Ben Gmayi Tamanja from Bimbila Constituency, and Mohammed Kamal Abubakari; Karaga Constituency.
Briefing the press after the exercise on Sunday, September 27, the General Secretary of the party who also chaired the vetting committee, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, said the aspirants were vetted based on the requirement of the country’s 1992 constitution, loyalty to the party, and the procedural guidelines concerning filing of nomination forms.
He said the vetting committee placed emphasis on two main elements which included the candidate’s qualification and loyalty to the party.
He explained that two of the candidates, Mohammed Kamal Abubakari and Ali Joseph Lachir, were disqualified because they had taken the party to court to seek redress without using the party’s internal structures to address their grievances.
Mr Asiedu Nketia said the third disqualified person, Ben Gmayi Tamanja, failed to show proof of his membership documents to the vetting committee.
Concerning the stepped down aspirants, he said they did not satisfy some of the requirements of the party and therefore decided to pull out from the exercise.
He said the monies of the seven would be refunded to them.
Mr Asiedu Nketia however, said the remaining 110 candidates had been cleared to enable them to compete in the party’s primaries slated for November 7, this year.
He said the party was expecting more than 6,000 people nationwide to partake in the party’s primaries.
He explained that the expansion of the party’s electoral college was to allow delegates to vote according to their conscience, and to select good candidates for the party.
The expansion, he said, would be difficult for any aspiring candidate to influence the delegates with money to vote in their favour.
Mr Asiedu Nketia said the party’s performance in the region during the 2012 elections “was an embarrassment to both the president and the party”.
According to him, the party’s performance in the 2012 elections in the region was the poorest since 1992.
“Our records show that our performance in the 2012 elections in the Northern Region was the poorest since 1992”, he said, adding “We don’t want to repeat that disgraceful performance in 2016 elections”.
Over 50 security personnel including police and military were detailed to provide security for the exercise which was held at the conference hall of the West Gate of the Tamale Sports Stadium.
Source: Daily Graphic
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