Home » K.T. Hammond Escalates NPP Primaries Dispute to National Committee, Demands Rivals’ Disqualification

K.T. Hammond Escalates NPP Primaries Dispute to National Committee, Demands Rivals’ Disqualification

Escalating Internal Party Drama Ahead of January 27 Vote

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

In a dramatic escalation within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Kobina Tahir Hammond, has intensified his campaign against his rivals in the party’s upcoming parliamentary primaries. After an unsuccessful attempt at the regional level, Hammond has now taken his fight to the National Vetting Committee, seeking the outright disqualification of all three opponents, including his main challenger, Sammy Binfoh Darkwa.

This latest move follows a contentious episode earlier this month when Hammond’s initial petition to the Ashanti Regional Vetting Committee was dismissed. The committee’s decision, which cleared both Hammond and Darkwa to commence their campaigns, has evidently not sat well with the Adansi Asokwa MP. Hammond’s dissatisfaction with the regional committee’s ruling, led by NPP National Organiser, Henry Nana Boakye, and Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, has prompted this unusual step to appeal to the national body.

Hammond’s arguments, detailed in the petition obtained by JoyNews, hinge on the eligibility of his opponents under the NPP constitution’s Article 12(4) and (7). He contends that Darkwa, the Managing Director of the Ghana Publishing Company, along with the other aspirants, do not meet the necessary criteria to contest in the primaries. Specifically, Hammond alleges that his opponents are not bona fide members of the NPP and have contributed insufficiently to the constituency’s progress.

These allegations have added fuel to an already heated primary race, with all aspirants actively campaigning ahead of the January 27 primaries. The situation reflects the intense internal competitiveness that has become a hallmark of NPP primaries, as observed by political analysts like Alidu Seidu. However, this particular case stands out for its potential to impact the party dynamics and the democratic process within NPP.

The backdrop to this unfolding drama includes several related stories within the party. The Ashanti region has seen over 60 candidates successfully vetted for the primaries, with one withdrawal amid rising tensions. Elsewhere, 11 aspirants have been disqualified from contesting, highlighting the stringent vetting process the party employs. The primaries have also attracted attention from high-profile figures, including a Presidential staffer and the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, who are vying for nominations in their respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, K.T. Hammond has been actively defending his political stance on various fronts. His recent comments against accusations of self-interest in the Import Restrictions Bill underscore his confrontational approach to politics. The bill, currently a topic of national debate, has seen Hammond face off against critics like Mahama Ayariga, who accuse the government of violating IMF bailout conditions.

As the primaries approach, the NPP finds itself at a crossroads, with internal disputes potentially overshadowing the democratic process. The National Vetting Committee’s response to Hammond’s petition will not only determine the fate of the Adansi Asokwa primaries but could also set a precedent for how the party manages internal conflicts and upholds its constitutional principles.

The evolving story underscores the dynamic and often unpredictable nature of Ghanaian politics, where internal party dynamics can have far-reaching implications for national political discourse.

In this high-stakes political showdown, the decision of the National Vetting Committee is eagerly anticipated, not only by the aspirants but also by NPP members and political observers across Ghana. The outcome could significantly influence the party’s unity and strategy heading into the general elections.

While the political arena often witnesses robust contests, Hammond’s approach marks a notable departure from conventional internal party disputes. His insistence on disqualifying his opponents, rather than focusing on winning over delegates through traditional campaigning, reflects a more litigious and confrontational strategy that could have lasting implications for the party’s internal democracy.

The controversy also highlights the broader challenges facing political parties in Ghana in managing internal democracy and dissent. As parties grow and evolve, the balancing act between maintaining discipline and allowing free and fair competition becomes increasingly complex. The NPP’s handling of this situation will not only affect its immediate electoral prospects but also contribute to the broader discourse on democratic norms within political parties in Ghana.

As the January 27 primaries draw near, all eyes are on the NPP’s National Vetting Committee. Their decision will not only determine who gets to stand in the Adansi Asokwa primaries but will also send a clear message about the party’s commitment to democratic principles and fair play.

In the meantime, the candidates continue their campaigns, meeting with delegates and rallying support. The atmosphere is tense, but also charged with the energy of democratic engagement, as party members exercise their right to choose their representatives.

The unfolding drama in the NPP primaries is a reminder of the vibrancy and complexity of Ghanaian politics. It underscores the importance of robust internal party mechanisms for resolving disputes and the crucial role these mechanisms play in upholding democratic values.

As Ghana continues to solidify its reputation as a beacon of democracy in the region, the resolution of this internal party dispute will be watched closely, both at home and abroad, as a barometer of the health of democratic processes within the country’s political parties.

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