With barely 18 months to go for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, the two dominant political parties in the country are making moves to consolidate their bases and, if possible, whittle down the numbers of their opponents in a bid to win power.
Both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have announced dates for their parliamentary primaries.
The NDC will hold parliamentary primaries across the country on August 24 while the governing NPP will organise theirs on September 28, 2019.
While some ‘safe seats’ remain outstanding for both parties, one seat, which may likely court the attention of many, especially pollsters and political pundits, remains the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat in the Greater Accra Region.
The stakes are quite high for the ticket as can be seen in the caliber of persons who at this stage are already scrambling to secure the nod from their party delegates.
Ghanaian actor, John Dumelo for instance, is willing to veer off his acting scene into rather turgid political waters as he confirms he is contesting for the seat.
“Yes, I am contesting. I’m in it for the long haul,” he said in an interview with The Ghana Report.
Dumelo says he is confident he will be given the nod by the delegates.
“I know the delegates are going to vote for me to lead them in the parliamentary election,” confident Dumelo said in the interview with The Ghana Report.
His confidence, though reassuring, may not mean much if he’s unable to topple competition from Suzzy Afua Adoboe following the decision by the party’s candidate in the 2016 polls to withdraw from the contest this time round.
Suzzy Afua Adoboe, a rather unknown personality in the political space prides herself in party activism. She’s convinced the best candidate to punch a hole in the NPP’s 19-year reign as occupants of the seat is one who is deeply rooted in activism, sources tell The Ghana Report.
In an interview with The Ghana Report , Afua Adoboe touted her credentials, citing how she’s played a critical role for the party, the NDC, in the field of activism since 1982. She adds, “our party was not built for popular people. It’s not about being popular, it’s about being relevant to the party and to constituents…I understand the party structure, I know the concerns of the party. When it comes to addressing the issues of the people I have the needed experience.”
Her view is shared by some members of the party in the constituency.
Joyceline Anaba, a footsoldier and party activist is one of such persons. She says a vote for John Dumelo in the party’s primaries will spell doom for the NDC come 2020. In a lengthy letter to delegates, Joyceline describes John Dumelo as a ‘corrupt’ ‘non-party’ person.
Extracts of the letter read, “John Dumelo represents the face of patronage, entitlement and thievery, and the NDC risked going into political oblivion in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency if he mistakenly gets the nod to represent the party.
John Dumelo has never been an NDC activist neither is he a registered voter in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency. It is a known fact and every party person in the constituency knows this for a fact. He can best be described as a friend to former president John Mahama and he’s coming into this contest through patronage and entitlement.
John Dumelo must not be allowed to destroy the chances of the party in the 2020 general elections. This is a guy who joined the 2016 NDC campaign as a celebrity campaigner with so much cash at disposal. He had access to millions of dollars made available to him by then president to canvass for votes. We later got to know that, this ingrate and pseudo politician managed to divert the campaign cash into his personal bank account and even made away with a number of Landcruiser V8 vehicles given to him for the campaign.”
The seat has traditionally been a safe one for the ruling party but the election of Lydia Seyram Alhassan, after the death of her husband, Emmanuel Kyeremanten Agyarko has added another twist to the constituency dynamics.
Many have described her as a political novice who cannot retain the seat for the NPP. She is seen to be stale and oblivious to the most current political, social, economic and cultural philosophies that the most progressive members of parliament are churning out and executing.
This has led to many questioning whether or not Agyarko’s widow will be the best person to represent the NPP in the 2020 contest. Enter Maame Yaa Aboagye, a learned party fellow with tons of support from the grassroot. She plays the role of a Deputy Director of Communications for the governing party.
Maame Yaa has confirmed to The Ghana Report in a recent interview that she will definitely contest for the lead role as party candidate in the constituency come September.
With the battle lines clearly drawn, political observers are watching closely to see who the various parties choose to face off later in December 2020.