When the third batch of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries are conduct across eight constituencies of the country tomorrow, most political pundits will set their eyes on three keenly contested areas.
These are the Tema Central and Tema West and Korle Klottey constituencies, all in the Greater Accra Region.
These are among the eight constituencies that would hold their primaries, according to Kwabena Agyei Agyepong, General Secretary of the NPP.
Others in contention are Obom-Domeabra, Okaikoi South, Kintanpo North, Juaben and Kwesimintsim constituencies.
Political observers are keen on Korle Klottey, because the constituency has been in the news for all wrong reasons as a result of the bad blood between two key aspirants, Lawyer Philip Addison and former constituency chairman, Nii Noi Nortey.
Both are hassling it out to become the NPP’s parliamentary candidate, in order to annex the seat from the ruling National Democratic Congress in next year’s general elections.
But what differentiates Tema Central and Tema West contests from the others, is the very fascinating manner in which both incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs) face stiff competition from other aspirants.
Whilst, the political current of Tema Central may be boiling under low water waves, that of Tema West have been fought in media with an aspirant, Carlos Ahenkorah accusing some top notches of the party of disadvantaging him by openly campaigning for Naa Torshie Addo, the incumbent.
Mr Ahenkorah and another aspirant, Mrs Adwoa Amoako have given the incumbent, who is in her second term in Parliament, a run for her money, by criss-crossing the constituency with their messages.
But, Naa Torshie has depended heavily on the party’s bigwigs, such as Dan Botwe, Henry Quartey, Samuel Atta Akyea, Daniel Titus-Glover and Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, who accompanied her on the campaign tours to solicit for votes.
Mr. Afriyie, a former General Secretary of the party during these tours, had marketed the incumbent as best bet for the constituency and urged delegates to once again endorse her.
However Mr, Ahenkorah maintained that under Naa Torshie’s candidature, the political fortunes of the NPP in the constituency has led drastically.
He said whiles the party won the parliamentary seat in 2000 by a difference of 15,000 votes, in 2004 it won by 10,000 votes, and further decreased to 8,000 votes in 2008 election and dropped again to less than 800 in the last election.
He promised to reverse the trend if given the nod to stand on the ticket on the NPP.
Mrs Amoako, an unsung aspirant in the race, has campaigned as a unifier and also as an assembly member for 14 years- both as a government appointee and elected member.
She believed delegates would repose their trust in her because, according to her, “the bottom line would be someone who can move the constituency on a forward march”.
In Tema Central, incumbent MP, Kofi Brako faces competition from his old rival, Ramseyer Agyeman-Prempeh.
In fact, Mr Brako defeated Mr Agyeman-Prempeh in the party’s primary prior to the 2012 general elections by a wide margin and went on to win general election, by 26,948 votes against the NDC’s candidate, James Enu, who had 14,360 votes.
Mr Brako, a business magnate, specialised in freight forwarding, ship brokering and transportation, remains very popular among the delegates due to his benevolence and has been tipped by many political pundits to win.
“He is a politician who believes in playing his game without allowing the cameras to spot him but at the same time a team player,” one delegate told The Ghanaian Times.
But Mr. Agyeman-Prempeh is also an experienced politician, having contested the 2008 parliamentary election as an independent candidate, but lost.
He recently called for a national debate on how to improve the economic and industrial fortunes of the Tema Metropolis, saying, “I want to initiate that dialogue as an MP”.
Whether delegates would buy into his vision of a better port city would be decided tomorrow.
By Ian Motey