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Politics of Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

What NPP parliamentary aspirants allegedly used to ‘influence’ votes

In case you missed it or didn’t quite follow the fallouts from the just ended NPP primaries, then this could be a sub summary of some interesting events.

Since the inception of Ghanaian democratic development, there have been very paramount complaints about issues of vote-buying and electorate influencing or any better adjective to describe the phenomenon.

In spite of the promises and pieces of advice from successive governments to end the trend, it rather seems to be stoking it; perhaps they assume power via similar practices.

Well, that could be the subject matter for another day but in this article, we zoom in to some items including money that some parliamentary aspirants of NPP used to 'influence votes' in their constituencies;

1. Cash

Some aspirants were able to get away with vote-buying allegations against their bid of being elected as parliamentary candidates for their various constituency, but one of the unlucky ones is Daniel Okyem Aboagye, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Bantama.

Photos of cash in GHC100 and GHC200 denominations with his campaign flyer, he allegedly ‘gifted’ to delegates prior to the Election Day were splashed on the internet.

In spite of all the lavish expenses on delegates, the ever-popular mantra of ‘fear delegates’ once again came to play as Daniel Okyem Aboagye was handed a massive defeat of his life. He lost to Francis Asenso Aboagye after pooling only 122 out of 578 valid votes.

He admitted in an interview, "To be honest with you, money played part, a lot of goodies, and monies and other things played a big part . . . at the end of the day whether it is money or not he has won . . . I am okay with the outcome," he stated.



2. Bicycles

After heavily investing in his campaign by purchasing amongst other things, bicycles for delegates in his constituency, Eric Amankwa Blay was nonetheless handed a humbling defeat. He secured only 44 votes as against 389 pooled by the incumbent Member of Parliament for Assin North constituency, Abena Duruwa Mensah.

Peeved by the disloyal acts of delegates, the ‘no-nonsense’ aspirant has decided to take back his bicycles. However, the leadership of the party has risen sharply against his decision, threatening to oust him from the party if he doesn’t rescind.



3. Blenders and cash

Incumbent Member of Parliament for La Dadekotopon, Vincent Sowah Odotei was not left out in the vote-buying and vote influencing ‘circus’ at the just ended primaries.

In fact, Mr Sowah Odotei was one of the first aspirants whose ‘vote-buying goodies’ broke the internet in the earlier hours of the voting day.

His campaign flyers were boldly imprinted on boxes of blenders and some cash but once again, in the voice of Sir John “Fear Delegates!” Vincent Sowah Odotei who recently lost his ministerial appointment as the deputy communications minister lost his parliamentary seat after pooling 376 as against his main competitor’s 543 votes.



4. Fridge distribution in Okaikwei North

Although no aspirant was tagged with or mentioned, videos which circulated on social media platforms believed to have been taken from Okaikwei North constituency, showed some delegates allegedly trooping into a house to take fridges, prior to the NPP primaries.

This generated a lot of vote-buying conspiracy theories but once again, no aspirant was mentioned. However, in the constituency in question, incumbent Member of Parliament, Issah Fuseini retained his seat with 305 votes as against Ken Kuranchie’s 285 votes.



* Benjamin Ashitey Armah’s confession and allegation against Titus-Glover

After the dust had settled, one of the losing candidates in primaries from the Tema East constituency, Benjamin Ashitey Armah admitted in an interview that he ‘gifted’ each of the 767 delegates GHC550.

He is quoted to have said in an interview with CTV, “I use the little resources I have to do my politics…I was able to give each delegate GH¢550.”

Not only that, he also alleged that his competitor who eventually won the polls, Daniel Titus-Glover gave “each delegate a tabletop fridge, GH¢1000 and even went the extra mile to give some delegates in my stronghold an extra GH¢500.”

To this allegation, a lot of people decided to make reference to popular words from Chinua Achebe that “When alligator comes out of the water one morning and tells you that crocodile is sick, do you doubt his story?"



6. Food and other goodies

Though not enough graphic evidence emerged to back up allegations of vote-buying against the incumbent Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya, Sarah Adwoa Safo was not left off the hook either.

In fact, several allegations of such practices emerged from her constituency with some people indicating that items such as burners, rice and others were distributed to delegates before and during the primaries. But photos of her campaign sticker posted on a pack of food gave her away.

At the end of the polls, however, she won by a whisker after beating Mike Oquaye Jnr with only eight votes.



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