The entrenched position taken by some members of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Ashanti region to contest the upcoming parliamentary polls as independent candidates have brought untold burden on the leadership of the party.
At least ten (10) known members of the Daquah-Busia-Dombo tradition have filed nomination to contest the December 7 elections as solo contestants.
Constituencies that have gained utmost attention in the sour development are Asokwa, Bekwai and Fomena.
In the Asokwa constituency alone, three independent candidates have filed nomination to contest the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) who doubles as Deputy Minister of Science, Environment and Technology, Patricia Appiagyei.
For Bekwai, the first deputy speaker of Parliament, Joe Osei Wusu, is fiercely been contested by one lawyer Akwasi Amofa.
Also, in Fomena, the current MP, Andrew Amoako Asiamah, is contesting the seat as an independent candidate.
In some areas, where there are no independent candidates, electorates have vowed to vote ‘skirt and blouse’ in the impending polls.
Voting ‘skirt and blouse’ means, voting for the president in the presidential polls and voting for a different candidate for the parliamentary one.
This development has come about due to disaffection amongst the rank and file of the party over scores of unresolved issues.
The party formed a dispute resolution committee headed by Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, former minister of Defence in the erstwhile President Kufuor’s administration to mend the cracks, but little was achieved.
The formation of a group calling itself: defeated MPs for victory headed by Kennedy Kankam, the defeated MP for Nhyieaso has not helped either.
With few days left for the release of the notice of polls by the Electoral Commission (EC), the party has stepped up efforts to convince the ‘deviant’ candidates to rescind their decision.
In so doing, prominent and highly respected members of the party have been deployed to the region to do the trick.
Mr F.F Antoh, first National Vice Chairman of the party, Yaw Amankwaah, a former regional chairman, Obiri Boahen, a deputy General Secretary of the party and some elders for the past days have been stuck in the region to conjure the magic.
Some pastors and retired senior public servants including former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Patrick Acheampong, are among the emissaries tasked with the difficult job.
Series of mediation meetings have been held and will continue to be held to get these candidates to withdraw their candidature.
But it appears, the battle has been lost at Bekwai and Fomena, where the two candidates have defiled every reasoning to pursue their dreams.
The party has already ex-communicated Hon Asiamah and has notified parliament through the speaker.
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia‘s recent visit to the region was largely part of the grand agenda to shoot down the independent candidature threat.
It was, therefore, not surprising that the Vice President visited Bekwai and Fomena during his stay in the region of which he made a strong case for the Party’s candidates.
The outcome of the mediation talks can only be made known when the EC releases the notice of polls for this year’s parliamentary elections in the few days to come.
The NPP suffered a similar fate when some Parliamentary candidates lost their bid in the 2008 elections, which eventually culminated in the Party’s electoral defeat.