Three more New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential aspirants appeared before the vetting committee on the second day of the ongoing exercise which started on a less busy note than when the event commenced last Monday.
The euphoria that characterised the exercise on the first day was absent on Tuesday( yesterday) until the Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, who is apparently known for his charisma, arrived for the vetting amidst drumming and dancing by his supporters.
The other two aspirants were a former Energy Minister, Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko, and a former NPP General Secretary, Kwabena Agyei Agyepong.
At about 9:00a.m. members of the vetting committee arrived and called in the first presidential hopeful, Mr Agyarko. The second aspirant that went through the process was Mr Agyepong. The atmosphere at the office was suddenly charged when some supporters, mainly Abossey Okai spare parts dealers of the third aspirant, the MP for Assin Central, Mr Agyapong, started drumming and dancing, bringing activities at the office back to life.
They were holding a banner with the inscription, “Kennedy Agyapong for President 2024; Ghana first. Hope for the hopeless, voice for the voiceless”.
The supporters met him a few metres away from the party office and ushered him into the premises for him to go through the exercise.
Apart from Mr Agyepong who granted the media interview, Mr Agyarko and the MP for Assin Central did not talk after going through their respective vetting.
Three other flag bearer hopefuls, a former Minister of Regional Cooperation and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku, a former Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Joe Ghartey, will take their turn today. A former MP for Mampong Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Francis Addai-Nimoh, will take his turn tomorrow.
The committee is expected to submit its report to the National Executive Committee through the General Secretary on Monday, July 10, 2023.
The three flag bearer hopefuls, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, Kwadwo Poku and the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, went through the vetting process on the first day of the sitting of the committee last Monday, and the process is expected to end tomorrow.
The nine-member Vetting Committee is chaired by Prof. Aaron Mike Ocquaye. Other members of the committee are Frank Davies, Lord Oblitey Commey, Osei Bonsu Amoah, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Stephen Abankwa Sekyere, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, Rita Talata Asobayire and Adelaide Ahwireng.
The Director of Elections, Evans Nimako, is the secretary to the committee while Mr Amoah is its spokesperson.
Ahead of the vetting of the presidential hopefuls, the Chairman of the committee, Rev. Prof. Oquaye, in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Saturday, gave an assurance that the committee would give fair hearing to all the aspirants and also ensure a free, fair and transparent vetting process.
He explained that aside from ensuring that the aspirants met the qualifications as outlined in the 1992 Constitution, the committee would be thorough in the vetting process to ensure the aspirants also met the NPP’s criteria.
Per the party’s revised timelines for its internal elections, a steering committee meeting has been fixed for July 11, 2023 for the publication of the vetting report.
It subsequently fixed July 12 to 14, 2023 for submission of any petitions to the National Presidential Appeals Committee, which would also sit on July 17 and July 18, 2023 to address any petitions.
The National Council and the National Executive Committee meeting has been fixed for July 20, 2023 to adopt the report, while the list of qualified presidential aspirants would be published on July 21, 2023.
Balloting for positions on the ballot paper will take place on Monday, July 24, while the first notice of poll is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
If the qualified candidates exceed five, a Special Electoral College will be held on August 26, 2023, to prune the number to five.
Fresh balloting of the final five qualified candidates will take place on August 28, 2023 with the final notice of poll fixed for August 31, 2023 and the national congress to elect the flag bearer will be on November 4, 2023, while a run-off, if any, is scheduled for November 11, 2023.