Politics of Wednesday, 16 December 2015
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) says the results of the by-election in the Amenfi West Constituency suggest that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is bound to lose the 2016 general elections.
In the 2012 elections, the NDC won the constituency with a ten thousand vote margin, but that has dwindled to two thousand after the by-election held in the area on Tuesday.
The NDC’s candidate, Eric Afful after the by-election, polled 15,809 while the NPP’s candidate, Paul Derkye, had 13,076 votes.
Speaking to Citi News, the Director of Communications of the NPP, Nana Akomea, said the party is happy with the results although it lost.
“The NPP is quite happy with the results, we would have been happier if we had won; because this has been a traditional NDC seat since the year 1996. If you look at the margin for the last election in 2012, the margin was almost 10,000.
So in the three years we’ve been able to cut the margin to just over 2,000.”
Nana Akomea said the results show “a massive recovery of votes by the NPP.“
“Even though the NDC won, the results gave the NPP a lot to cheer about. What the trend tells us is that, if the NDC loses the percentage they suffered in Amenfi, they would not be able to win the next general election,” he added.
But the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, George Lawson, argued otherwise saying that the analysis of an impressive performance by the NPP in the Amenfi West Election, was due to low voter turnout.
He explained that if the voter turnout were to be higher than recorded, the NPP would have performed abysmally.
According to George Lawson, even though the NPP presented a more experienced candidate, they were still defeated by the NDC’s Eric Afful who he describes as a novice.
“It is the low turnout that accounted for that. If our people had come out; I’m not sure they would have recorded fewer votes. Did their numbers appreciate or did they augment those numbers? Not at all the numbers they got in the general election is not the same as this. Again their candidate is someone they have marketed for some time now. He contested the 2012 parliamentary election and he is contesting again.”
He said the NDC’s candidate who is considered to be a novice performed comparatively better because that was his first time, yet he emerged victorious.
“Our candidate has not contested in such election before. Our candidate has even done better than their candidate. Because looking at experience, our candidate is a novice and for the novice to beat you…then it talks much about your candidate.
“The NPP did not do well, if their numbers had appreciated then you would say they have done well, but such is not the case. Looking at by-election, turnouts are very low. So you can’t compare by-election to general election; there are so many factors that will not make you compare the two,” Mr. Lawson added.