Over 40,000 registered voters are expected to cast their ballot in 69 polling stations in the Abuakwa North Constituency’s by-election today [Tuesday].
The by-election became necessary following the death of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for the area, Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, last month.
The MP, affectionately called JB, was stabbed to death at his residence at Shiashie in Accra by a teenager, Daniel Asiedu, who is currently facing prosecution.
The NPP’s Gifty Twum Ampofo is being challenged by Samuel Frimpong of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) and the United People’s Party’s Isaac Kwarteng.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) pulled out of the by-election because according to a statement signed by the General Secretary of the party, they were “stunned by the death of the late MP Joseph Boakye Danquah-Adu, particularly circumstances surrounding his gruesome murder that brought the nation to a standstill.”
It however emerged later that their Parliamentary nominee for the Abuakwa North constituency, Anthony Osei Gyimah, was not a registered voter in the constituency.
All set for by-election
In a Citi News interview, the Electoral Commission officer at East Akim, Daniel Opare, assured that all materials and logistics needed for a smooth exercise are ready.
“As I speak to you now, we have all our materials. The ballot papers are ready, the other forms are ready and the ballot boxes have been screened so everything is ready,” he said.
Daniel Opare urged all eligible voters to participate massively in the bye-election.
Although the constituency is a strong hold of the NPP, Gifty Twum Ampofo is urging the party’s members not to leave anything to chance and come out in their numbers to vote.
“No one should be complacent. They shouldn’t think that because it is our seat and our strong hold, we are going to win. They should come out and vote.”
Abuakwa Parliamentary results
The Abuakwa North seat has largely been an NPP since the constituency’s creation in 2004.
In the last election in 2012, the late MP beat the NDC’s Victor Smith with about 6,000 votes. But the NDC’s result in 2012, was an improvement from the past, considering that in 2004, the NPP won the seat by 16, 000 votes as against 7,000 votes for the NDC.
Whoever emerges the winner in the March 29 by-election, will legally be an MP for less than 8-months since the tenure of the current Parliament will expire after the presidential and parliamentary elections in November this year.
The NDC already has a parliamentary candidate for the main election in November, and thus may not lose anything by pulling out of the race.
The party may instead, save some money and time, and focus its resources on preparations for the main election in November.