Trouble is brewing in the Afram Plains South branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Eastern Region over who should be the party’s parliamentary candidate in the December general election.
Two persons have filed and submitted their nominations papers to the District Electoral Commission (EC) office at Tease to contest the party’s parliamentary ticket.
The two, Mark Oliver- Kevor, Eastern Regional Secretary of the NDC, and Eric Osei Owusu who was runner-up in the constituency parliamentary primary.
They filed the papers hours after the incumbent Member of Parliament and parliamentary nominee, Mr. Joseph Appiah-Boateng, withdrew his candidature from the poll.
On the eve of the deadline for filing of nominations, the regional branch of the NDC issued a press release indicating that the party had replaced Mr. Appiah-Boateng with Mr. Kevor.
This development is creating uneasiness in the party especially when the district EC office claimed it has no authority to reject parliamentary nomination papers.
The Times gathered Mr. Osei-Owusu, who lost marginally to Mr. Appiah-Boateng in November, 2015 possessed an introductory letter signed by Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC General Secretary..
He claimed the paper authorised him to file his nomination to represent the party in constituency.
This paper again gathered that the party’s National Chairman of the party, Kofi Portuphy and the Eastern Regional Chairman, Bismark Tawiah Boeateng were said to have also authorised Mr. Kevor to file to contest the seat.
According to Mr. Osei-Owusu as far as he was concerned, he was the legitimate candidate.
He added that he believed the NDC was a law abiding party and would follow due process, adjudicate the issue amicably and in his favour.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by Mr. Boateng, on Friday said the decision to replace the MP two months to the elections became necessary because he voluntarily withdrew his candidature.
“We are by this release informing the general public, and for the avoidance of doubt, that Mark-Oliver Kevor is our parliamentary candidate for the Afram Plains South Constituency having successfully filed his nomination at the district office of the Electoral Commission,” the statement said.
It said the party was mindful of the timing and the need for party cohesion at the constituency in arriving at that decision and urged all stakeholders to uphold it.
But unconfirmed reports claimed incumbent MP took the decision after a court granted a motion filed by Dickson Adjei Danso directing that he should be prevented from joining the parliamentary race because he was embroiled in a criminal case.
The reports hinted that between 1998 and 1999, the MP allegedly left the country for New Zealand after a criminal case defilement was filed against him at the Osu Police Station.
From: David Kodjo, Ekye-Amanfrom.