Standoff, no show in some NDC constituency elections

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), over the weekend, held constituency elections across the country to elect executives to lead the party at the constituency level for the next four years.

The exercise, although largely successful, witnessed pockets of violence, standoff, no elections and smooth processes as reported in some of the constituencies.

Voters and well wishers at the Krowor constituency election grounds

In all, a total of 354,708 delegates were expected to cast their votes to elect the new constituency executives. The delegates comprise branch, constituency, regional executives and former government appointees.

In Wa, the exercise in the Upper West Region ended successfully although there were pockets of violence reported in some constituencies. At the Wa Central Constituency, a total of 1,838 delegates were expected to cast their votes in Saturday’s polls.

Alhaji Famina Sidik secured 850 of the valid votes cast to unseat incumbent constituency chairman, Mohammed Sule who secured 815 votes, leaving the third contender to amass the remaining 117 votes after 14 ballots were rejected.

With a whooping 1,164 votes, Abu Salifu Tamaah emerged as secretary of the party in the constituency with Abubakar Kassim as the vice chairman.

In the Nandom constituency, Wein Philemon and Gboargang Vitus were elected as constituency chairman and vice respectively after a peaceful poll. Although there were pockets of violence at some centres such as Loggu in the Wa East district, the police was swift to restore calm and bring the situation under control.

FROM Ho, Kafui Gati, said there was a temporary hold up at the NDC Ho Central constituency elections on Saturday as names of OLA Branch C and Ahoe Market Square B were missing from the register. That nearly brought confusion but it took the intervention of the members of the Election Committee to resolve the issue to allow delegates whose names were missing to cast their votes.

In all a total of 2,223 delegates from the 247 branches of the Ho Central constituency turned out to cast their votes and by the end of voting around 5:00 pm, the incumbent chairman, Franklin Kofi Gedzia passed through all odds to retain his position, polling 1,347 votes against Gershon Adeklo, a new contestant who was poised to beat the incumbent but could only poll 647 of the total votes cast.

At Walewale in the North East Region, the former NDC Member of Parliament for Walewale Constituency, Iddrisu Alidu Zakari, popularly Known as Cord, was on Saturday chased away by delegates in the NDC constituency elections.

The delegates described the former MP as an informer saying that he leaks their information to the bigwigs of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the region

Mr Zakari was denied access to the Walewale L/A Junior High School voting centre to observe the elections by the angry delegates of the party.

According to them, the former MP is not a member of NDC.

Sheikh Abu Ibrahim Dakurugu a delegate in an interview with the Ghanaian Times said, they would continue to embarrass him till he change his attitude.

He said the former MP pretends to still be member of the party and was not in good terms with their leaders in the constituency.

Mr Zakari was later allowed to cast his vote and escorted by personnel of the Ghana Police Service to his house.

At the same venue, the police fired tear gas to disperse an angry mob who prevented officials of the Electoral Commission from continuing the electoral process.

According to the mob, a mix-up in ballot papers of the chairmanship position and the deputy communication officer was a planned thing to rig the elections.

The incident led to the opposing side of the delegates vandalising elections material including ballot boxes and voting booth, which called for police intervention.

At the Ashiaman Constituency in the Greater Acca Region, the exercise was called off on Saturday due to numerous challenges including shortage in total number of ballot papers printed for the exercise.

About 3,000 delegates were to elect new executives, but the exercise was called off after several hours of waiting.

The ballot papers had not arrived at the voting centre as of 12:44pm.

From Kumasi, Kingsley E.Hope reports that, at the Asawase Constituency, Faisal Dauda polled 946 votes to unseat the incumbent, Musah Abubakar who got 775 votes.

The vice chair position went to Moustapha Mohammed Tahiru who polled 897 votes with his challenger, Abdulai Zakari polling 823 votes.

Mugis Madi had 1,070 votes for the secretary post with his contestant, Fatau Salisu polling 636 votes, but Abdulai Wahab went unopposed for the Deputy Secretary post.

Prior to Saturday, there were pockets of rumours circulating that the election was going to be a ‘do or die’ affair as the constituency chairmanship became a hot contest with the incumbent yearning to be retained.

Meanwhile, there had been court injunction on Suame and Manhyia South constituencies for some irregularities.

On Friday, party members stormed the Suame office and vandalised the place.

From Elmina, David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, reports that the incumbent chairman, John Quaicoo obtained 776 votes against Michael Asmah who got 697 to retain his position for the third time at Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEEA) constituency.

The elections started around 2:00pm on Saturday due to the late arrival of ballot papers and ended around 12:00am.

At the Agona East and Cape Coast South Constituencies, the election was postponed due to inadequate supply and late arrival of ballot papers.

 Also in the Central Region, elections in 20 constituencies were postponed.

Only three constituencies took part in the election which was scheduled for Saturday, October 22, 2022.

The three were Upper Denkyira East, West and the Agona East constituencies.

With the development communicated to supporters late, drama broke out at the Gomoa East and Awutu Senya West Constituencies when delegates showed up to cast their votes.

Meanwhile, the National Elections Directorate of the NDC nullified elections held in three constituencies in the country.

The constituencies are Atiwa West, Mpraeso, and Afram Plains South.

The Elections Directorate of the party said the elections were in clear violation of an earlier directive of the Directorate for the postponement of elections in those constituencies.

From Lydia Fordjour and Rafia Abdul Razak, Wa

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