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NPP, NDC prepare feverishly for Ayawaso West Wuogon primary

BY: Victor Kwawukume & Edward Acquah
John Boadu — NPP General Secretary and Aseidu Nketia — NDC General Secretary
John Boadu — NPP General Secretary and Aseidu Nketia — NDC General Secretary

Only three out of the eight persons who picked nomination forms to participate in the parliamentary primaries of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ayawaso West Wougon Constituency in the Greater Accra Region have filed their nominations.

Mr Ekow Acquah and Mr Delali B. Kwasi submitted their nomination forms at the constituency office in Accra last Saturday, and per the requirements paid GHȼ10,000 each while Ms Dela Selasie, the only female in the race, paid GHȼ5,000 to enable them to maintain their participation in the exercise ahead of the by-election.

Ghanaian actor, John Dumelo, who together with four others had picked nomination forms failed to file.

According to Mr Bismark Aborbi Ayitey, the NDC Chairman of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency, Mr John Dumelo and Mr Ewoenam Y.A. Attidokpo, both of whom had picked nomination forms submitted letters of withdrawal to the party on Saturday, in which they cited “some personal reasons” for their decision to pull out of the race.

Point of correction

However, information available to the Daily Graphic indicates that Mr Dumelo’s decision to pull out from the contest had come at the heels of a revelation by a Deputy National Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mame Yaa Aboagye, that Mr Dumelo cannot contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat in the Greater Accra Region because he has no vote in the constituency.

Mame Yaa Aboagye who is also lacing her boots to contest the NPP’s primaries to vie for the seat posited that although Mr Dumelo would be no match for the NPP in that constituency, they believed the right thing ought to be done.

She told journalists that there was also no record that the actor, who is a known supporter of the NDC and had also campaigned massively for the party in 2016, had transferred his vote to the constituency.

“We have the register for the constituency and I know he is not a member of this constituency. When did he transfer his vote or registered here, the right thing must be done. His constituency is Hohoe, that’s where he votes” she said.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview Mr Ayitey, stated that Ms Catherine Abrokwa Mante, Mr Kojo Twum Boafo and Mr Issah Kamarah, all failed to submit their nomination forms “for a reason we do not know.”

Therefore, the three aspirants who successfully filed their nominations are to be vetted after which the qualified candidates will contest in the primary scheduled for Friday, December 28, 2018.

NPP elects on December 29

Meanwhile, the NPP will on December 29 elect a candidate to contest the Ayawaso West Wuogon parliamentary seat.

The seat was held by one of its members, Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko until his demise on November 21, 2018, thereby necessitating the conduct of a by-election in the constituency.

Consequently, the NPP opened nominations last Friday to allow interested party members pick up nomination forms at a cost of GHȼ1,000 to contest the by-election that is required to be held 60 days after a seat becomes vacant, according to the Constitution.

Picking up of forms ended last Saturday, December 22 while filing was done yesterday, December 23 with a non-refundable filing fee of GHȼ10,000. Female aspiring candidates as well as the youth and persons with special needs were given a special 50 per cent discount in respect of the filing fees.

Vetting of the candidates has been scheduled for today, December 24, at the party headquarters in Accra, a statement from the party General Secretary, John Boadu, announced.

Meanwhile, the party said it had constituted a five-member elections committee to be chaired by Mr Peter Mac Manu to supervise the conduct of this conference.

Background

As part of efforts to contest the seat, the NDC opened nominations on Monday, December, 17 2018, in which eight persons picked nomination forms.

According to Mr Ayitey, although the party had targeted claiming the seat in 2020, the development “is an opportunity for us to claim it now and retain it in 2020,” hence their resolve to prepare adequately towards the contest.

Enough funds

In the interview, Mr Ayitey indicated that the party had “enough funds” to hold the primaries in which over 1,200 delegates would be expected to vote.

“This is a national election, so we have full support from our national headquarters. We have enough funds to cater for all the processes we are supposed go through…We know the strength and weaknesses of our opponents and we are preparing accordingly,” he stated.

In spite of five aspirants dropping from the contest, he expressed confidence in the remaining three and pledged the commitment of the party’s executives in working with the one who would emerge as their candidate.

He, therefore, advised the aspirants and the delegates within the constituency to comport themselves and follow the laid down procedures to make the primaries successful.