A section of delegates of the New Patriotic Party in the Effia Constituency, are threatening legal action over an attempt by some Regional Executives of the party, to ‘fix’ one disqualified aspirant; Dr. Adwoa Kwegyirba, in a recommended list by the Regional Vetting Committee, which is currently awaiting a final approval by the National Executive Council of the party.
The delegates numbering 318, constitute over 70 percent of the constituency’s delegates.
The group maintains that an attempt to fix Dr. Kwegyirba constitutes a breach of Ghana’s Constitution, as stated in Article 94, clause 1 B. Citing provisions in the clause which specify conditions or qualifications of a Member of Parliament; “he/she is resident in the constituency for which he stands as a candidate for election to Parliament or has resided there for a total period of not less than five years out of the ten years immediately preceding the election for which he stands, or he hails from that constituency”, the group argued that, that any consideration or whatsoever, to allow the embattled aspirant contest the primaries would not only set a bad precedence for the party but offends the laws of the country.
A recommended list from the Western Region Vetting Commitee led by the Second Vice Chair of the NPP, Fredrick Fredua Anto, did not approve of Dr Kwegyirba’s application to contest in the primaries. By the decision, incumbent parliamentary representative for Effia, Joseph Cudjoe will go unopposed in the April 25 election.
Prior to the publication of the list, the Regional Chair Francis Ndede Siah was heard in an interview on TV3, confirming the inclusion of Dr. Kwegyirba in the recommended list. Both news have caused an uneasy calm among party delegates in constituency.
But the group in a press conference today, appealed to the National Executive Council and the Appeals Committtee to uphold the constitution, and with effect disapprove of an appeal brought before them by any person or group of persons to reconsider the decision by the vetting committee.
Convener of the group and a Polling Station Executive, Gregory Otoo threatens they will proceed to the supreme court to seek an interpretation of Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution.
“…they should not make any attempt to reinstate the woman. If they don’t listen and they continue to go by what they want to do, we will head to the supreme court” he fired.
He explained with reference to a petition submitted to the vetting committee on March 2, 2020 that; “the woman does not qualify per Article 94 of the constitution. And it states very clearly that if you don’t reside or hail from the constituency you wish to represent, you should not be allowed to contest”
“Secondly, the woman has not been engaged in any party activity in the last three years of the party. So if somebody comes from the ‘blue’ to contest, at the end of the day what signal are we sending out there? It means anybody at all can one day come and contest. That is what we are seeking to prevent!” he added.
Mr. Otoo trusted that the Appeals Committee of the party will not entertain any ‘unconstitutionality’ to prevail, one that they fear threatens the credibility of the party.
Supporting the call of the delegates, a Communications Director for TESCON, Takoradi Technical University, Samuel A. Kaku stated that, Dr. Kwegyirba had never participated in any political business with the group.
“We even conferred with previous administration about this, and they argue that the woman has never been attending meetings nor supporting TESCON activities” he added.
The National Executive Council is yet to approve the list submitted by Mr. F.F Anto’s vetting committee. Per a report signed by Second Vice Chair, F.F Anto and the Western Region Secretary of the NPP, Charles Bissue, twenty out of the twenty-eight nominees have been recommended as parliamentary aspirants in their respective constituencies.