Two leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), openly defied party regulations and courted controversy when after partaking in the voting process at the Special Delegates Congress, decided to display their ballot papers to the gathering.
Although open support for a candidate is against the party’s constitution which states in part that “where there are more than five contestants for nomination as the party’s Presidential candidate, a Special Electoral College shall cast their votes by secret ballot for the first five contestants to be short-listed”, it appears this has been lost on some its leading members.
According to Kwabena Ntow of Filla Fm, who also doubles as Peace FM’s Correspondent in Tamale, Anthony Karbo, the former NPP National Youth Organizer, held up his ballot paper in the direction of the delegates waiting in queue to cast their vote in the Super Delegates Congress to trim prune the number of Presidential Aspirants from seven to five.
Shortly afterwards and as if on cue, Alhaji Iddrisu, the Northern Regional Second Vice Chairman of the NPP followed suit, despite the furore that greeted Karbo’s action.
“Confusion erupted when one of the delegates displayed his ballot to the gathering after casting his vote…. This action infuriated agents of the aspirants about his conduct who demanded nullification of his vote…He lifted his ballot paper up, smiled and pointing to picture of the candidate by whose side he had thumb printed,” Kwabena Ntow recounted.
Other delegates were reported to have also taken shots of their ballot papers after voting, in complete defiance of a caution by the Minority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu to party delegates not to undermine the integrity of the election process by taking photographs of the candidate they vote for.
It appears to be seen whether the two NPP stalwarts will face any form of sanction since their action flies in face of the NPP's constitution and also the electoral laws of the country.
Meanwhile, reports received indicate that at the party's headquarters at Asylum Down in Accra, former General Secretary of the party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie (Sir John) also declared open support for Nana Akufo-Addo a few minutes after he arrived to cast his ballot.
"I have come to vote for Nana Akufo-Addo", he said.
Reached for his comments on reports of open display of thumb-printed ballot by some of the delegates, 2012 Presidential Candidate of the NPP and one of the seven aspirants, Nana Addo simply stated that “the secret ballot is for you. I think if you choose not to make it secret that’s your matter but you are entitled to have your ballots secret; that’s my understanding of the law.”
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