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11 go unopposed in NPP primaries in Western Region

Voting in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) parliamentary primaries, held last Saturday in the Western Region took place in 10 constituencies, while 11 candidates were popularly acclaimed as representatives of the party to contest in the 2016 national elections.

However, elections could not be held in five constituencies in the region. They were Bia East, Bia West, Juaboso, Sefwi Akontombra and Kwesiminstim.

The Western Regional Secretary of the NPP, Mr Charles Nanabayin Onuawonto Bissiw, told the Daily Graphic in Takoradi last Sunday that in the case of the first four areas, it was a strategic decision taken by the regional executive committee to hold on until a later date.

But for Kwesiminstim, he said one Mr Joe Mensah, a candidate who was challenging the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency, Mr Joe Baidoe-Ansah, had appealed against a decision by the party's vetting committee to reject his bid.

He further indicated that the election in Kwesiminstim might come off on June 27, 2015, but in the case of the other four, the regional officers, in consultation with the national executive, would decide on the date.

Popular acclamation

In the twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi, except Kwesiminstim, the candidates for Sekondi, newcomer Andrew Mercer; Essikado Ketan, Joe Ghartey; Takoradi, Kojo Otchere Darko Mensah, and Effia, Joseph Cudjoe, received popular acclamation.

The other areas in the region where the candidates went unopposed were Ellembelle with a 37-year-old business executive, Mr Kwasi Bonzoh, Wassa East, Wilson Arthur; Mpohor, Alexander Agyekum, the sitting MP; Aowin, Samuel Adu Gyamfi; Bodi, Kennedy Amoah-Mensah; Amenfi West, Paul Dekyi, a lawyer, and Bibiani-Anwhiaso, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, the incumbent.

Elected candidates

The regional secretary expressed surprise that in the Amenfi Central Constituency, a teacher at the Asankragwa Senior High School, Mr Patrick Amponteng, was able to beat a lecturer of the University of Cape Coast, Dr Eric Magnus Wilmont, by six votes to represent the party.

He, therefore, discounted the notion that the NPP always fielded well-to-do persons as parliamentary candidates, adding that by dint of hard work, Amponteng, the underdog, who even had it tough paying his nomination fee, had been able to defeat Wilmont, who was very resourceful and who everyone had tipped to win.

In Tarkwa-Nsuaem, the incumbent MP, Gifty Eugenia Kusi, lost to George Mireku-Duker by 312 votes to 453, while in Shama, Ato Panford also sprang a surprise by defeating his closest competitor, Ericson Abekah Samuel, by 281 to 94. For Sefwi Wiawso, Dr Kwaku Owusu Afriyie polled 368 to beat Martin Bonye, 209.

In the Ahanta West Constituency, the 177 votes secured by former District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, Andrews Kwesi Biney, could not match Lawyer Kojo Kum’s 324, while the other two contestants, Kwesi Klutse and Kwesi Yankey got 37 and 128 respectively, out of the total 671 votes, with five being spoilt votes.

Security

Immediately the results were announced by the returning officer, Mr Felix Aninakwa, the police whisked away Mr Kum to avert any trouble.

In the Evalue Gwira Constituency, Catherine Ablema Afeku thrashed Professor Kaku Sagary Nokoe by 351 votes to 99, while in Jomoro, the results stood as Paul Essien, 359; Joseph Ehowia, 352 and Hopeson Paul Kwaw, 91. In the Suaman Constituency, Kwame Christian had 157 to beat Philip K. Boahene, 53.

For the Prestea Constituency, where the highest number (eight) of people stood, Lawyer Barbara Oteng Gyasi emerged victorious with 296 votes, Isaac Dramani and Lawrence Ellimah Blay got 209 each, Samuel Blay had 24, Felix Kwame Quainoo polled 14, Bimpeh Yantsin Isaac and Samuel William Derby had 11 votes each, while Samuel Kwesi Arthur received five votes.

In the Amenfi East, six people contested and Patrick Bogyako Samuel won with 256 votes, with Edward Amo-Ackah garmering 201; Richard Boakye-Yiadom, 171; Edmund Afful, 31; Stephen Baidoo, 20 and Michael Nketiah, 9.