Politics of Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Whilst counting of ballots is underway in the Amenfi West Constituency by-election in the Western region, the opposition NPP is brimming with hope ahead of the 2016 general elections.
National Youth Organiser of the NPP, Sammy Awuku told Joy News’ Editor Dzifa Bampoh snippets of results trickling in gives the NPP cause to be hopeful in next year’s polls
The Amenfi West seat became vacant after NDC MP John Gyetuah died on October 13.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) and the United Front Party (UFP) are contesting for the seat but pundits have predicted a two horse race between the governing party and the main opposition NPP.
In 2012, the NDC’s candidate got 26,000 votes, with the NPP’s Paul Dekyi polling about 16,000. There have been incidents of late voting and pockets of disagreement in some polling centres in today’s election.
Nonetheless, “The result gives me hope for 2016,” Sammy Awuku said.
He explained that centres where the NDC won with large margins in the last election, the NPP has closed the gap.
He believes the NPP’s good show was the outcome of the party’s well-organised campaign and ability to sell its message to the people.
Also, he suspected the governing party’s complacency cost it, having held the seat for two decades. The NDC has also “taken the electorate for a ride,” he added.
But Deputy General Secretary of NDC, George Lawson strongly disagreed with NPP’s view of closing the gap.
Sammy Awuku is rather painting the “wrong picture”, he pointed out.
In his observation, the NDC is rather closing the gap in centres where the NPP used to win massively.
He, however, believed the final result would tell which party’s position is a fallacy.
Describing the election as having “gone on well”, Mr. Lawson rebuffed claims that the government started some development projects in the constituency to woo voters. He said the projects were ongoing prior to the election.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has praised conduct of the by-election.
“Based on the Coalition’s observation at the 40-selected polling stations being observed throughout the constituency, so far, CODEO believes that the Electoral Commission has so far lived up to its mandate of ensuring the smooth conduct of the elections.”