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Politics of Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Amenfi West decides who replaces John Gyetuah today

All is set for the by-election in Amenfi West in the Western Region today. Electoral materials, including ballot papers, have already been dispatched to the District Police Command for safe keeping and early this morning, they will be sent to the polling centres for voting to start at 7 a.m. prompt.

The atmosphere is calm and peaceful for the election to take place without difficulty.

A total of 148 senior police officers and men are being deployed to man all the 102 polling stations across the constituency.

The by-election follows the demise of the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr John Gyetuah.

Who will step into the shoes of the late MP will be known from 5 p.m. when the election will be over.

Four political parties are contesting the elections and have left nothing to chance to win the parliamentary slot.

Candidates of the four parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the United Freedom Party (UFP), yesterday wrapped up their campaigns to win the hearts and minds of the electorate.

The four candidates are Mr Abraham Kwadwo Buadee, a 41-year-old accountant, for the PPP; Mr Paul Derkyi, 43 and a lawyer, for the NPP; Mr Elvis Adjei, a 30-year-old Loan Administrator, for the UFP; and Mr Eric Afful, a 41-year-old Economist, representing the NDC.

The Amenfi West Constituency is one of the oldest constituencies – out of which Amenfi Central was carved and was later elevated to a district status.

Since its creation, the constituency, after the country returned to constitutional rule in 1992, has always voted for NDC until 2003 when the then NDC member, Mr Kofi Asante resigned as MP.

The by-election led to Agnes Samfo winning the seat for the NPP for the first time. The seat returned to the NDC in the general election in 2004 until the demise of Gyetuah.

Even though it looks like a straight fight between the NDC and NPP, the other two parties, PPP and UFP, are upbeat about their chances.

Prior to today’s polls, the NDC combined its campaign with the final funeral rites of Mr Gyetuah, which saw all the big guns, including President John Dramani Mahama visiting the area.

Earlier, the NDC’s team, made up of the Vice-President and leading members of the party, crisscrossed the constituency.

The NPP campaign took a full swing, with the General Secretary of the party, Mr Kwabena Agyepong, leading it until he was called to Accra and subsequently suspended.

Even though the flag bearer, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo Addo, and other members of the NPP family took over the campaign, Mr Agyapong’s absence became the talk of the constituency.

In 2012, Gyetuah won the seat for the third time with 26,435 votes, representing 60.55 per cent as against the NPP candidate Lawyer Paul Derkyi who had 16,829, accounting for 38.54 percent.

As the campaign heated up, there were several allegations of vote buying amid new projects springing up in the constituency.