General News of Friday, 23 August 2019
The quest by the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to win the 2020 general elections may be a boasting exercise after all.
Barely three days to its parliamentary primaries across the country, the NDC is said to be struggling to field candidates in some constituencies.
Strangely, the party members can’t get candidates in some constituencies where they don’t control the seats in Parliament (orphan constituencies) while in some situations, it has rejected some aspirants for lacking political clouts and has not found anybody to replace them.
According to DAILY GUIDE sources, Ashanti and Eastern regions are the hardest hit, with the party postponing the Saturday exercise in those constituencies.
Not even the dangling of carrot for prospective aspirants by waiving the nominations and filing fees would convince NDC apparatchiks to pick forms to contest in the Saturday polls.
In the Ashanti Region, election to select candidates for the 2020 parliamentary elections is taking place in only seven of the 49 constituencies while Eastern Region, according to reports, can boast of election in only 13 out of the 33 constituencies where aspirants are vying for slots.
The participating constituencies in the Saturday primaries in the Ashanti Region are Asawase, New Edubiase, Ahafo Ano North, Ejura Sekyeredumasi, Asante Akyem North and Offinso North.
In the Eastern Region for instance, party people are shying away in constituencies the party had previous elections like Akwatia where former Member of Parliament (MP), Mohammed Baba Jamal, is allegedly seeking solace in Accra to upstage the sitting MP for Ayawaso East at Nima.
Abuakwa South, the constituency of President Akufo-Addo, is yet to get a candidate just as the two constituencies in the regional capital, as well as the two constituencies in Atiwa and others in the Akuapem and Kwahu areas.
Strangely, ahead of the 2016 elections, the NDC had waged a campaign of splitting Eastern Region with then opposition NPP in what it called ‘Agenda 50-50’.
A sarcastic post by an NPP activist from New Juaben North in Koforidua, Wiafe Debrah, raised issues why NDC gurus in the municipality are running away from the constituency, especially when they are boasting of victory in 2020 elections.
“Your party NDC recently opened nominations for people to contest primaries to become potential parliamentary candidates for the incoming 2020 general elections. Out of the 33 constituencies in the Eastern Region that the NDC bragged in 2016 as AGENDA 50/50 (KY?MU P?), only 13 constituencies have gotten people to pick forms, leaving 20 constituencies vacant. I find this very interesting and intriguing. A party that is poised and taunting of winning power in 2020. What has happened or what is happening because this didn’t happen in 2016 when you were in power,” Wiafe queried in the post directed at Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, a former Minister of Communications and registered member of the party in the constituency.
According to the NPP activist, known NDC chieftains are running away from the constituency betraying the quest to recapture power.
“Your constituency and branch executives are finding it very difficult to get a candidate to lead them in the 2020 parliamentary elections. They are now contacting some NPP members to lead them. They have contacted Nuamah Donkor who was a former NDC candidate and he has ruled out their proposal. Also, Haruna Appaw who was 2016 NDC candidate has also moved his wheels to Fanteakwa North (Begoro) to contest primaries.
“I’m yet to discover if they have contacted you and you have also rejected to lead them in 2020? I will be very shocked and surprised if you reject their request. We in the NPP in the constituency want you to come and lead your people in other to garner votes for … Mahama. Don’t sit in Accra alone and make noise by attacking NPP government every day.
“How can your constituency struggle to get a candidate while you are there? We need competition in the constituency and so kindly come and lead your party. We promise you of free and fair elections devoid of attacks and character assassinations,” Wiafe Debrah queried.
In Takoradi, where the party has suspended nominations, an aspirant was dropped for not ‘carrying weight’.
According to Kofi Elias Abdul-Rahman, who showed interest in contesting, the party said there was no credible candidate, hence suspending the exercise in the city.
He explained that the reason was an indirect insult to his person.
In the Western Region for instance, the NDC is on the market looking for candidates in places such as Essikado, Takoradi, Kwesimuntsim, Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira, Tarkwa Nsuaem and Amenfi East even though these are part of the party’s orphan constituencies that should have been contested on Saturday.