General News of Thursday, 15 November 2012

Source: The Finder

NDC Shaky In Volta Region

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is experiencing its biggest challenge in the Volta Region, popularly dubbed as its “World Bank”, in the coming elections. The by far dominant party in the region is experiencing its most serious challenge as internal strife threatens to reduce the party’s strength in the upcoming elections.

The party’s challenges come from independent candidates who have broken away from the party and Nana Konadu’s National Democratic Party (NDP).

The NDC is having to contest against candidates who belong to the party, or were recently with it, in over 90 per cent of constituencies in the region. Breakaway party NDP is putting up 15 candidates in the region’s constituencies while independent candidates also make their greatest showing in the region in this election.

Some of the most serious challenges, however, come from the Ketu South Constituency where incumbent Member of Parliament Albert Zigah, who lost in the party’s primaries, is contesting Fiifi Kwetey, Deputy Minister in the Finance Ministry and first time parliamentary aspirant.

Also thought to constitute a credible challenge is the bid by independent contestant but openly an NDC member, Klutse Kudomor, who is contesting Mr Kwabena Woyome, the incumbent Member of Parliament for the South Tongu Constituency.

The candidates have openly expressed their support for President John Mahama but refused to go with his counsel against skirt and blouse voting. Only last Tuesday (story on page 5), Mr. Kudomor’s campaign team was sighted with five vehicles at Agbagorme, a village along the Sogakope-Akatsi highway, with his and the President’s posters on display in a house-to-house campaign tour of the area.

Most of the independent candidates say their decision to contest was based on calls from constituents unhappy with their MP.

In Zigah’s case, his main beef has been what he alleges are the unfair means by which Mr. Fiifi Kwetey to his position from him at the primaries. The strength of the NDP is yet to be tested at the polls although Nana Konadu is said to have benefited from the Rawlingses’ popularity to make inroads in the region.

The party’s main challenge is whether these open solicitations for its heart by those who formerly identified with the NDC would weaken its overwhelming force. Also, with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) having made some gains in parts of the region in the last elections, the danger that any split of vote helps the opposition, especially in the Akan areas of the region, constitutes a risk the party would rather do without.

More problematic for the party are areas outside the region such as the Elmina Constituency in the Central Region and the lower Manya Krobo Constituency in the Eastern Region.