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Politics of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

Ursula fights for survival at Ablekuma West

Disagreements over the voters list (photo album) to be used during the impending New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2016 parliamentary primaries in the Ablekuma West constituency is deepening further cracks within the party at the constituency level, Today has gathered.

And from the look of things it appears the constituency primaries will delay further due to the entrenched positions the feuding factions have taken over which of the two separate photo albums should be used for the conduct of the polls.

Incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who is seeking re-election, is said to have produced her own list for the primaries whiles the constituency executives have also compiled a photo album different from what the former has.

Interestingly, both parties have vowed to present their own set of what they consider to be the authentic register for the primaries.

Sources say due to the disagreements, party leadership has been unable to fix a date for the election.

The issue had earlier been a subject for court litigation which compelled NPP’s hierarchy to set up a three-member committee, chaired by Prof. Mike Ocquaye, Madam Frema Opare and one Yussif, from the Greater Accra region to find a lasting solution to the brouhaha.

The idea of using two different sets of voters registers for that single election, according to Today sources, was proposed by former member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wugon, Madam Frema Opare, at a meeting held in Accra.

The meeting, which was held outside the constituency to avoid possible attacks by irate supporters, ended abruptly in a near scuffle between the incumbent MP, committee members and some constituency executives.

The sources explained that the meeting which began in a friendly and cordial atmosphere later turned into a near scuffle thereby forcing the committee to call it off half-way.

The sources hinted that the misunderstanding among the parties arose when Madam Frema Opare proposed that the constituency executive body signs an undertaking letter to provide one set of voters roll whiles the incumbent MP who is alleged to be challenging the credibility of the old photo album (the delegates’ lists also comes up with her own voters roll.

Our sources explained further that Madam Opare’s infamous proposal brought about some heated exchanges from both sides.

“Tempers were so high that the meeting was brought to an abrupt end without any concrete decision taken by the Mike Oquaye-led committee,” a source stated.

The Ablekuma West constituency primary has been put on hold for some time now due to a misunderstanding over the electoral roll to be used for the polls.

The matters subsequently went to Accra High Court, General Jurisdiction No.5 Law Court Complex, and judgment was given by His Lordship, Justice L.L Mensah, in favour of the defendants (Constituency Executives).

Surprisingly the current electoral roll which is being challenged by forces believed to be supporters of the incumbent MP was the same register which was used to elect constituency, regional, national executives, including special voting as well as the presidential primaries.

“It is clear that the ongoing machinations, manipulations and bending of electoral rules are all geared towards favouring one candidate who is alleged to be the preferred choice of the flag-bearer,” an executive member revealed to Today on condition of anonymity.

According to the executive member, nepotism, favouritism, lack of fairness, and inequality in the NPP has reached its crescendo as both national and regional officers have been party to such unholy acts.

“I can say without fear or favour that the current crop of leadership at the party hierarchy have thrown truth, fairness, right of choice, and equity to the dogs,” the executive member averred.

Madam Ursula Owusu is facing competition from Theophilus Tetteh, a former Constituency Chairman and one Ronney.

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