The New Patriotic Party (NPP) last Saturday organised the second phase of its parliamentary primaries in nine out of 30 constituencies across the country.
This follows the one held on June 13. The nine constituencies were part of 30 others which could not hold the primaries because of issues with some of the candidates.
From the Greater Accra Region, Della Russel Ocloo & Vincent Musah report from Tema that tension was high amid tight security. Delegates were locked outside the voting centre amid boos and jeers. This was the scene that defined the election of a candidate on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the Tema East constituency.
In the end, the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr Daniel Titus-Glover, emerged victorious, beating his closest contender with 49 votes to enable him to run for a second term.
Mr Glover polled 329 votes as against the 30-year-old Mr Ashitey, whose first attempt saw him polling an impressive 280 votes. There were four spoilt ballots.
On the contrary, the former Deputy Minority Chief Whip and incumbent MP for the Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region, Mr Benjamin Kofi Ayeh, was defeated. He lost to Mr Samuel Nsonwa Gyan, a teacher and businessman.
Benjamin Ayeh polled 115 while Samuel Nsonwa had 220 votes.
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A near confusion almost resulted at the Tema East primaries, when the MP for Ayawaso Central, Mr Henry Quartey, who was at the venue to support Mr Titus-Glover, was alleged to be distributing sealed envelopes containing an unspecified amount of money to induce delegates to vote for Mr Titus-Glover, an allegation Mr Quartey denied.
Supporters of Mr Ashitey booed and jeered at him, amidst chants of “Away, away, you are not from this constituency”.
Mr Quartey who left the venue and returned when ballots were being counted was again greeted with boos.
He told the Daily Graphic the allegations were mere speculations. “They must show evidence I actually distributed money?”
Four ex-polling station executives of the Ashiboi Electoral area led by Mr Kofi Hudson whose names were allegedly deleted from the register, thereby denying them the opportunity to cast their ballots, also attempted to cause confusion. However, constituency officials quickly addressed the issue.
According to officials, the names of the four were not deleted as was being speculated, rather, following the creation of the Tema East Constituency in 2012, the Ashiboi area was placed under that constituency, hence the four could no longer vote in Tema East.
In all, 613 of the 650 delegates from the 122 polling stations in the constituency cast their ballot at the OLAMS SHS centre where the elections took place.
Supporters of the two candidates sang cheer songs and chanted winning slogans for their preferred candidate.
Scores of market women, fisherfolk and artisans from the Tema Manhean community, where Mr Ashitey commands a massive support, were not left out of the fanfare of drumming and dancing.
Many people from the dominant Muslim communities within the constituency and areas such as communities 7 and 8 also trooped to the venue in their numbers in support of the incumbent, Mr Titus-Glover.
“No Titus, No Vote”, “No Ben, No Vote”, were the slogans from the deafening screams of two supporter groups that gathered outside the voting centre and wielded placards and banners bearing the photographs of the two candidates.
From the Volta Region, Tim Dzamboe also reports from Krachi Nchumuru that a tutor at the Dambai College of Education was given the nod at one of the outstanding elections of the NPP primaries to elect a contestant for the party in the Krachi Nchumuru constituency of the Volta Region.
Mr innocent Kakateche was in the race with two others. Out of the 325 votes cast, Mr Innocent Katete Tachem polled 207 votes to beat Mr Wilson Kpakpadza, an Assistant Secretary for the Adenta constituency of the party with 74 votes and a former parliamentary candidate and staff of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) in Ho, Mr Kofi Tarkum Taylor with 44 votes.
According to the Volta Regional Secretary of NPP, Mr Joseph Homenya, there were four rejected votes in an election that was peaceful and devoid of any acrimony. Nine delegates were also absent.
Though voting began late as a result of a downpour in the area, the constituency chairman and delegates came in their numbers shortly after the rains to vote.
Mr Homenya disclosed that with the resolution of grievances for Krachi Nchumuru constituency, other primaries that were now pending are Ho Central, Ketu North, North Dayi, and Nkwanta South.
In the Northern Region, a former District Chief Executive for Sawla-una Kalba District in the Northern Region won the Parliamentary primary.
James Sunyahzi Kipo polled 276 out of 472 total votes cast to secure space in the 2016 Parliamentary ballot.
His other two contenders, Awusi Naatogmah Mahama secured 113 votes against that of Albert Obara Wuor who polled 43 votes.
From the Adansi Akrofrom, in the Ashanti Region, the incumbent MP, Appiah Pinkra, was retained with 176 votes. His main contender, Charles Korankye polled 92.
However, the election in the Sefwi Akontombra constituency in the Western Region could not come on due to an impending court case.