The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has advised Ernest Owusu Bempah, an independent parliamentary candidate in the Asante Akyem North constituency of the Ashanti Region, to desist from riding on the back of its flagbearer to prosecute his agenda to become a lawmaker.
Posters of Mr. Owusu Bempah, a member of the National Democratic Party (NDP) – which has elected former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings to contest for the presidency in the 2016 polls – have been flying on social media, with the inscription: ‘Owusu-Bempah nie, Nana Addo nie’, an implication that Mr. Akufo-Addo had endorsed his candidature for the seat.
But speaking on Accra100.5FM’s breakfast show, Ghana Yensom, on Monday July 18, Andy Appiah-Kubi, the NPP’s parliamentary candidate for the upcoming legislative polls in the same area, said although the party was “grateful” for the “endorsement” of its flagbearer by Mr. Owusu-Bempah, he still needed “authorisation” for such a decision, failure of which would make his action an “illegality”, a “deceit of the public” and “forgery”.
“So, if Owusu-Bempah can be part of Nana Addo’s campaign or be an NPP candidate, he must join the NPP. If he wants to be a candidate on the same ticket as Nana Addo, then that is belated, it is too late for him. There is a procedure for that – he needs to win the primary and stand on the NPP’s ticket before he can go with Nana Addo. So if you have not satisfied these requirements and you are campaigning on the back of Nana Addo, then you are using a back route. … That is also against the law,” he counselled, adding: “Owusu-Bempah is no NPP member so he cannot carry the NPP flag.”
Mr. Appiah-Kubi denied there were cracks in the party in the constituency owing to the presence of two independent candidates in the race for MP, one of which was Mr. Owusu-Bempah.
The other independent candidate is Anyan Kusi, formerly of the NPP. But in Mr. Appiah-Kubi’s opinion, the presence of a small group of dissenters within the party could not be misinterpreted as disunity in the rank of the party as disagreements were part of every human institution.
In the case of Mr. Anyan Kusi, Mr. Appiah-Kubi said he had ceased being a member of the party since 2012 when he first broke away from the NPP to contest as an independent candidate and subsequently lost, hence his decision to stand for parliament was nothing new and was no indication the party was divided.