Politics of Thursday, 17 December 2015
The just ended Amenfi West by-election in the Western Region was not without serious incidents.
Thugs, allegedly mobilised by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), subjected the assembly member for the Torompan electoral area, Alex Mensah Agyekum, to severe beatings during the polls.
Alex Mensah Agyekum was the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) polling agent for the electoral area.
According to eyewitnesses, the General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, visited the polling centre and was hooted at and asked to leave the place.
The NDC General Secretary left but after some few minutes some pro-NDC macho men stormed the place, purportedly fired gunshots and assaulted the assemblyman who sustained bruises on his face in the process.
However, in an interview, the victim alleged that it was four policemen who fired the gunshots.
The matter was reported to the Asankragwa District police and the victim was given a police medical form to seek healthcare at the Asankragwa Catholic Hospital.
The Communications Director of the Western Regional branch of the NPP, Okatakyie Amankwa Afrifa, vehemently condemned the alleged sporadic gunshots at Torompan.
“Why should this happen in this democratic era? We in the NPP condemn the alleged act,” he said.
Eric Afful, a 41-year-old cocoa purchasing clerk, who represented the NDC in the Amenfi West by-election, emerged victorious.
He polled 15,809 votes, representing 52.64 per cent, to beat his closest contender, Paul Denkyi of the NPP, who garnered 13,076 votes, representing 43.54 per cent.
A misunderstanding broke out at one of the polling centres, Breman JHS, after voters discovered that the electoral roll had got missing.
The electorate, who had formed a long queue as early as 6am to cast their votes, were very furious when they were told that the register was missing, leading to a misunderstanding between some of them and the EC officials.
Supporters of the NPP and the NDC blamed each other for the act. Some of the agitated voters had to be whisked away from the centre, but calm was restored by the police.
The register was later found and voting started at about 9:30 am at that polling centre.
Meanwhile, the ruling NDC was accused of vote buying ahead of the by-election on Tuesday, as the party was alleged to have distributed roofing sheets, fertilizers and cutlasses among others, to majority of the electorate to induce them to vote for the NDC.