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Politics of Saturday, 23 February 2019


Polls progress steadily as 7 vie to cut short NDC stay in opposition

Ongoing presidential primaries of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Saturday, is progressing steadily.

Joy News’ correspondents spread across the country say delegates are casting their ballots peacefully.

In Eastern Region, former Minister of Communication, Dr Edward Omane Boamah was among some 700 delegates who cast their vote at New Juaben North constituency.

“The voting process has been peaceful since it started at 7 am,” reports Eastern Region Correspondent, Kofi Siaw.

Speaking to journalists after casting his vote, Dr Omane Boamah was confident his former boss, John Mahama will emerge victorious, explaining his victory will rejuvenate the party's base ahead of the 2020 polls.

At Kwesimintsim constituency in the Western Region, a total of 577 delegates are expected to vote as at 9 am, 60 delegates have cast their ballots, reports Ina-Thalia Quansah.

“There was the issue of some people’s names appearing twice but they have been told to hold on for further direction before they are allowed to vote,” Ina-Thalia reports, Saturday.

Meanwhile, former President John Mahama has arrived in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, to cast his vote at the Wa UDS Polling Centre.

Prof Joshua Alabi has also cast his vote at Krowor, in the Greater Accra Region.

He told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo that from what he can observe and has been told, the process has been largely smooth.

In the Northern Region, Regional Chairman of the NDC Alhaji Ibrahim Mobila, has said the level of enthusiasm demonstrated by delegates of the party in today's primaries to elect a flagbearer is a clear demonstration of the party’s readiness to win power in 2020.

Alhaji Mobila made the comment when he went on a tour of polling stations in Tamale North constituency to monitor the exercise.

Ghana’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress is set to elect its 2020 flagbearer as it attempts to cut short its stay in opposition since 2017.

And it is seeking to find one out of seven candidates whom they believe will hold the most convincing sway over voters come the 2020 general elections.

They are former president John Mahama, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Kingsford Sumani Bagbin, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, former Vice Chancellor of University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Joshua Alabi.

There are also former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr Sylvester Mensah, a cadre, Mr Goosie Tanoh and businessman, Alhaji Nurideen Iddrisu.

The party is using the most exhaustive electoral process ever seen in any political party with nearly 280,000 delegates across all 275 constituencies expected to cast their ballot.

All branch executives, constituency executives, regional executives, regional council of elders, MPs, former government appointees and founding members will have their say in Ghana’s most novel internal party primary.

But all eyes will also be on the party’s ability to pull this off without lamentable hitches and in recent times, without the involvement of party militias.

After a supporter was shot dead in the Ashanti region last Monday, allegedly by a member of the pro-NDC militia, ‘The Hawks’, there is palpable national resentment about the destabilising influence of party militias in a democratic state.

In response, the NDC has stressed it is fully relying on a distrusted police service, giving the highly criticised security agency an image redemption opportunity.