Supposed President Mahama-backed candidates were defeated in the internal contest of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Ashanti Region yesterday.
Yaw Obimpeh, the incumbent, was re-elected regional chairman with 244 votes, beating the candidate who was said to be enjoying support from the presidency, Thomas Kwabena Braimah, by 79 votes, following what some MMDCEs have termed “positive defiance.”
The two vice chairmanship slots went to Augustus Andrew and Alex Ativor, who won by 254 and 119 votes respectively, while the regional secretary position went to Raymond Tandoh, who had been in an acting capacity since his boss, Joseph Yammin, was appointed a deputy minister.
Kwame Zu, a lecturer at the Kumasi Polytechnic, was elected regional deputy secretary after he had secured 266 of the valid votes cast. The position was contested by four people.
Alhaji Sannie Junior retained his seat as regional organiser with 214 votes, beating his challengers, Rashid Alhassan, Obeng Adutwum, Samuel Owusu Kankam and Kwaku Anikora Sie.
Ishan Alhassan won the regional deputy organiser post with 232 votes, as the incumbent regional treasurer, Justice Ibrahim, also retained his seat with 203 votes. Ama Hanso secured the deputy treasurer post with 182 votes.
In a subtle campaign prior to the election, General Secretary of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, called for the retention of the incumbent officers, asserting that the current situation did not warrant a change.
He said the election would define the forward march or otherwise of the NDC in 2016 as votes from the Ashanti Region remained crucial for the party.
MP for Asawase, Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, indicated that the NDC needed a lion-hearted person to match NPP’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, boot for boot.
Some members of the NDC indicated, “The election was a referendum on President Mahama’s influence in the ruling party; and the delegates obviously made it clear that they did not appreciate the unnecessary interference so they took it out on the candidates perceived to be enjoying presidential support.”
The elections have paved the way for others eyeing the presidency to get a footing and constituency.