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No man will be barred from contesting female MPs – NPP makes U-turn

Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline|

NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea says it will only encourage male aspirants not to contest 16 seats held by female MPs insisting their affirmative action policy will not be forced down anybody’s throat.

In a major U-turn barely 18 hours after the party announced that no male will challenge female incumbents in the party’s parliamentary primaries, the NPP says this policy will rely on a “moral force” not a binding fiat.

“The important point is that, nobody will be barred from contesting a sitting female MP…..Nobody will be barred on the basis of gender” Nana Akomea stressed on Joy News Tuesday.

In a watered-down defense, Nana Akomea says the policy was a “proposal” “adopted” by the National Executive Council which will “try and make compromises” with aspirants bent on contesting female sitting MPs.

Akomea says the policy was only to implement affirmative action plans “generally accepted” all over the world including Ghana.

He referred to the inability of the governing NDC to adhere to its own plans to reserve 30% of political appointments for women.

Nonetheless, Nana Akomea noted that there is an element of political “risk” to reserve the 16 seats for the women.

The decision by the National Executive Council was announced yesterday after a meeting involving the 2016 flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo, former NPP chairmen and General Secretaries and a host of other MPs.

But it has ruffled feathers in and outside the party with political pollster Ben Ephson criticizing the policy as a “total disaster” and “recipe for defeat”.

Although former CEO of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Kofi Jumah has praised the decision and resigned himself not to contest the Asokwa seat in the Ashanti region, Abdullah Bonsu in the Awutu-Senya constituency in the Central region has kicked against the plan.

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