THE General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Justin Kodua Frimpong has stated categorically that he is a father for all the aspiring presidential candidates and hence doesn’t support or declare his stance for any of them.
According to him “As the party prepares for its presidential and parliamentary elections in the coming years, we pledge to act as impartial referees. We also admonish other regional executives, stalwarts, and sympathizers to do so”.
His comments follow some photos trending that he took with some of the Presidential Hopefuls, which some of the party members have taken him on by accusing him of declaring his stance secretly for those candidates.
However, in a post to clarify the trends, he stated that ‘’As the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, I have on several occasions, pledged to serve as an impartial referee in the party’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary primaries’’.
He stated that ‘’A snapshot of me and any presidential or parliamentary hopeful does not in any way, constitute an endorsement of such an individual. I have in the past taken pictures and will continue to take pictures with all members of our great Party’’.
He further entreated all card-bearing members of the party and its many sympathizers to treat with contempt, any malicious and mischievous interpretations that some individuals would give to such pictures.
Already, a release signed by his outfit on August 5, 2022 had cautioned its executives to desist from endorsing or campaigning for the presidential or parliamentary aspirants.
According to him, the act of endorsing or campaigning for candidates is contrary to the party’s code of conduct.
“It would be recalled that the National Council of the party, on July 27, 2021, issued a Code of Conduct for the party’s presidential and parliamentary primaries.
In line with Articles 2(3) and 2(4) of the party’s Constitution, the Code of Conduct seeks to foster the spirit of healthy intra-party contests by guaranteeing equal opportunity for all stakeholders”.
For emphasis, the Code of Conduct provides in Section 1 (f) that: “Members, supporters, sympathizers of the party at all levels shall desist from using their public office or portfolio within or outside the party to promote the interest of any prospective presidential or parliamentary candidate in order to gain unfair political advantage.”’
The statement added that “failure to comply with this directive, may lead to huge consequences and sanctions against such offending officer, member or prospective aspirant in line with the grievance procedures stipulated in the Code of Conduct.”
“Until the party duly opens nominations for presidential and parliamentary primaries, all prospective presidential and parliamentary aspirants are to desist from all forms of campaign activities including mounting of billboards and holding meetings with party executives as that would be in breach of the Code of Conduct.”
The statement further noted that the “institution of these disciplinary measures is to avert the menace of internal party wrangling, and factionalism, which usually arise when party executives openly declare support for aspirants, thereby dividing the party front in the lead-up to general elections.”
“It is also intended to avoid the repetition of the electoral misfortunes of our tradition in the 1979 and 2008 general elections which were linked to party officials openly leading the campaign of aspirants,” the statement added.