The National Democratic Congress (NDC) might be boasting of its dominance in the Upper West Region (UWR) but the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is poised to pull a surprise that is likely to turn its fortunes in that region for the first time for good
.At the past six polls, the NDC has dorminated the region in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.
In the 1992 parliamentary election, the opposition boycotted the polls, and the seat was taken by the NDC.
The NDC took the seat again in the 1996 election when it won with 76 per cent votes as compared to the NPP which had 23.7 per cent.
The 2000 election
In the 2000 election, the NDC again won the seat. However, the party’s votes dropped to 62.7 per cent. But the party climbed up again in the 2004 election when it obtained 69.97 per cent of the total votes cast.
In the 2008 elections, the NDC’s votes dropped again to 57 per cent but ITquickly made amends in the 2012 election by increasing the votes to 65.54 per cent.
Going into the December 7 polls, the NDC is comfortably occupying 10 out of the 11 parliamentary seats in the region. The remaining seat is occupied by an independent candidate.
As the election gets closer, the atmosphere in the region promises an epoch-making event between the two main parties.
NDC strategy solid
The Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, recently led a party delegation which included the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, and his deputy, Mr Koku Ayindoho, to visit the region to interact with party supporters ahead of the December polls.
The tour was also to explain the party’s 2016 manifesto which was launched in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region last month.
During the tour, the party unveiled a campaign strategy to maintain its political dominance in the region ahead of the 2016 election.
Dubbed “operation 78 per cent,” the plan is to secure at least 79 per cent of the votes cast in the 2016 presidential election and win all the 11 parliamentary seats in the region.
A campaign task force was also put in place to spearhead that agenda.
Speaking to Speaking to journalists at a seminar to train the campaign task force, Mr Nketiah, popularly known as General Mosquito, said the party was confident of securing the target it had set for itself in the region.
We are confident
“We are in a good position to obtain the 79 per cent presidential votes and win all the 11 seats in the region,” he said.
According to him, the current parliamentary candidates standing on the ticket of the party were solid individuals who “the people believe and trust to deliver”.
For instance, Mr Nketiah mentioned Mr Alban Bagbin, who is contesting the Nadowli-Kaleo seat for the seventh time as one of the parliamentary candidates who was in solid position to win.
However, he is being challenged by the National Chairman of the Peoples National Convention (PNC), Mr Bernard Mornah.
“If you have a refined politician such as Mr Bagbin in the Upper West Region, you know you are covered,” he added.
Apart from Mr Bagbin, he said, all the other candidates, including Mr Rashid Pelpuo, who is contesting for the Wa Central Constituency seat, were ready to win and maintain their seats for the party.
After the tour, the Chief of Staff also expressed optimism that the NDC would win all the 11 parliamentary seats in the region.
“My six-day working tour of the region has boosted my confidence in believing that not only would we win all 11 seats; but we will also maximise the votes of our presidential candidate, President John Dramani Mahama.
NPP to spoil the party
Going into the December 7 polls, the NPP has no seat in the region.
The party previously held three seats but lost all to the NDC during the 2012 election. The seats were Wa East, Lambuisie and Nandom constituencies.
Despite the gloomy picture, the party is prepared to go all out to win back those seats and claim two more in addition.
“We have laid a strong foundation to take back the seats we lost and add two more in this year’s election,” the Upper West Regional Secretary of the NPP, Alhaji Haffis Bin-Sali, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
According to him, the party had a strong strategy in place to win the targeted seats and increase its presidential votes as well. For example, the NPP has intensified its campaign at Lawra as division hit the NDC camp there and the incumbent is going independent.
“We are not bothered about anything apart from making sure we get five seats in the region and Nana Akufo-Addo to the Flagstaff House,” he said.
Alhaji Bin-Sali said the party had corrected all the errors it made in Election 2012 and had put in place solid measures to ensure victory in the December 7 polls.