Former Minister for Central Region and a staunch member of the New Patriotic Party(NPP), Kwamena Duncan has kicked against the party’s Election Committee’s decision to hold a run-off between the two presidential aspirants who scored a tie in its super delegates election on Saturday.
The election, which was conducted to select five out of ten candidates to compete in the NPP November 4 presidential election, saw former Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko Kyeremateng and Francis Addai-Nimoh, a leading member of the party, obtain 9 votes, hence making it difficult to choose the fifth candidate to complete the ‘top five’ list.
In view of this, the Committee announced a run-off will be held on Saturday, September 2 and the over 900 delegates are expected to vote on the two aspirants.
But Kwamena Duncan says this decision contravenes the party’s constitution.
Quoting Article 13 (Clauses 9) of the NPP constitution which he read as saying “where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, a special electoral college shall cast their vote by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be shortlisted,” he stressed the top five decision “is a desirability…not an imperative”.
He added Clause 2 and 3 of the same Article quoting “where there is only one contestant for the nomination as the party’s presidential candidate, the National Congress shall claim his or her nomination as the party’s presidential candidate…Where there is more than one, each delegate will cast his or her vote by secret ballot for one of the contestants” and stressed this provision negates the decision to conduct a run-off.
According to him, a run-off can only happen during the November 4 election which is aimed at electing the party’s flagbearer, stating emphatically that “the five is a desirable number. It doesn’t mean you have to get five by force”.
“The constitution doesn’t say anything about run-off” in the Special Delegates Congress, he emphasized, and asked the Committee not to set its own rules.
” . . when the constitution itself has not spoken about a run-off, you purport to do rules and regulations. The rules and regulations, it must be based on the provision of the principal enactment. The principal enactment here which is the constitution does not pronounce, does not talk about any run-off in the first tier. What that provision cannot permit is that the number should be more than five. It is either equal to or below five but it cannot be more than five.
“The objective there is that we are electing the presidential candidate. Definitive article! It does not talk about run-off at all. So, when the constitution hasn’t spoken of a particular direction, you cannot purport to give it a particular direction. It speaks for itself!!”, he argued on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” show.
He expounded; “Where a contestant obtains more than fifty percent of the votes cast, he or she shall be the party’s presidential candidate…Where, however, no candidate obtains more than fifty percent of the votes cast, there shall be a run-off between the first two contestants and the contestant with simple majority shall be the party’s presidential candidate”, adding “because this is an imperative. This one is intended to give us one. So, there, the constitution says that you cannot do anything but to continue. Even where you go for the first run-off and it still doesn’t give you the clear result, the constitution says that continue to do that till you get that person.”