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BIG GUNS TUMBLE IN NDC PRIMARIES: MUBARAK, LITHUR, TAMAKLOE OUT

Politics

Saturday’s parliamentary primaries conducted across the country by the opposition National Democratic Congress saw incumbent MPs such as Joseph Yieleh Chireh (Wa West), Kwasi Ashiamah (Buem) and Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu) being denied a chance to represent the NDC in the parliamentary elections next year.

Saturday’s parliamentary primaries conducted across the country by the opposition National Democratic Congress saw incumbent MPs such as Joseph Yieleh Chireh (Wa West), Kwasi Ashiamah (Buem) and Ras Mubarak (Kumbungu) being denied a chance to represent the NDC in the parliamentary elections next year.

 

The likes of Nana Oye Lithur, the former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Sedina Tamakloe-Attionu, the former chief executive of the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), both of whom served in the Mahama government, were rejected by delegates in Adentan, Accra, and Anlo in the Volta Region.

Highest bidder

A former Deputy Communications Minister who was sacked by President John Mahama, Victoria Lakshmi Hamah, also suffered a humiliating defeat in the primary at Kintampo North in Bono East, securing a paltry 65 votes.

She blamed her loss on her unwillingness to bribe delegates on the day of the primaries.

Ms Hamah lost to John Kwame Kumah, who got 532 votes. His closest contender, Richard Kwadwo Kombat, obtained 486 votes, while Abdul Rahaman Yakubu got 207.

This is the second time Ms Hamah has failed to progress beyond the primaries to represent the NDC. She mounted a similar failed campaign in 2015.

Taking to her Facebook page, she wrote: “I campaigned on a message hoping to inspire delegates to awaken in them a higher consciousness towards transformational change.

“Elections in Ghana is so easy. Just make sure you are the highest bidder on the Election Day and you will surely win.”

New entrants

There will be fresh faces in the 2020 general election gunning for seats for the NDC in constituencies such as Madina-Abokobi, Buem and Ayawaso West Wuogon.

Francis Xavier-Sosu, a high-profile human rights lawyer, secured the ticket to represent the NDC in Madina-Abokobi, Accra. He had lost in his previous attempt to then incumbent MP, Amadu Sorogho, who went on to lose the seat in the 2016 polls to Boniface Saddique of the NPP.

Delegates in Buem, considered an NDC stronghold, gave Kofi Adams, a former national organiser of the party, the slot to represent the NDC in the next elections after voting against the incumbent MP, Daniel Kwasi Ashiamah.

Vociferous Felix Kwakye Ofosu, also a former Deputy Communications Minister in Mr Mahama’s former government, defeated seven other candidates to grab the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese slot in the Central Region.

He polled 360 votes. His closest challenger, Dr Nana Ama Brown Klutse, who was highly tipped to win, polled 327.

The actor John Dumelo has been given NDC delegates’ endorsement to lead the party in next year’s polls in Ayawaso West Wuogon. Mr Dumelo may square off with the incumbent MP, Lydia Seyram Alhassan, widow of the late former MP for the same constituency, Emmanuel Agyarko.

In Wa West Superintendent Peter Lanchene Tuubo (rtd), who resigned as executive secretary to then Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, to run for the NDC ticket, amid loud murmurs, knocked out the incumbent MP, Joseph Yieleh Chireh. He secured an impressive 755 votes against 317 garnered by the former Health Minister.

Appoh jubilates

One person who seems to have had the last laugh as Nana Oye Lithur lost the Adentan contest is Rachel Appoh, her former deputy as Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

Ms Appoh has alleged on several occasions that she was maltreated when she served under Mrs Lithur.

The former MP and Deputy Minister says at one point in time she had to work from the ministry’s reception for more than a year, as “punishment” for failing to agree with Mrs Lithur about various decisions she had taken in discharging her duty as Minister.

“I am even shocked she had this number of votes. I want her to reflect on her loss and next time treat MPs well. The delegates should have all endorsed Mohammed Adamu Ramadan,” Ms Appoh told the media.

Mr Ramadan secured 730 votes to Mrs Lithur’s 559.

NPP condemns violence

Meanwhile, the governing New Patriotic Party, even as it congratulated those candidates ho were successful at the primaries, condemned various acts of violence witnessed during the exercise.

A statement from the party signed by its general secretary, John Boadu, said: “The NPP is pleased to congratulate all the aspiring parliamentary candidates of the NDC who were successful in their bid to represent the party as parliamentary candidates in the various constituencies of the country for election 2020. The NPP equally congratulates the opposition party for a largely smooth exercise.”

It added, “The party is however appalled and wishes to condemn in no uncertain terms the many acts of violence and intimidation that characterised the primaries in some parts of the country, including Ho Central, Cape Coast South, Ningo Prampram, Sefwi Akontombra, Sunyani West constituencies and many other places, leading to the arrest of some of the party’s thugs.”

The NPP said it expects the opposition not to repeat these acts during the 2020 general elections. It therefore called on the “NDC to also make these commitments for the love of God and country”.