Expectations in the Eastern Region were high as the people filled the 2,961 polling stations in the region to cast their votes on Friday.
Turn-out at the polls was very high but expectations of majority of the people in the region were dashed, as latest result showed that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) cumulatively did impressively well in a region seen as the stronghold of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the region where the NPP presidential candidate comes from.
There were few surprises in the form of the ‘skirt and blouse’ voting.
One interesting constituency was the Abuakwa North constituency where the Eastern Regional Minister, Victor Smith, who was standing on the ticket of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and was sure of winning the seat was given a thrashing by NPP’s J.B. Danquah Adu.
The regional minister had bragged about causing an upset in the NPP stronghold but he was defeated badly.
He had 12,309 votes while J.B. Danquah had 18,812. Akufo-Addo had 19,161 as against John Mahama’s 11, 751.
The biggest surprise was in the Akwatia constituency where the incumbent, Dr Kofi Asare of the NPP lost to veteran parliamentary seat contender, Baba Jamal, a deputy minister of Tourism, who stood on the ticket of the ruling NDC.
Baba Jamal had contested for the seat since 2000, but this time round, he did his homework well to snatch the seat he had longed for from the incumbent.
Akwatia is traditionally a stronghold of the opposition NPP, but the residents decided to vote for Baba Jamal to represent them in parliament while they voted for Nana Akufo-Addo in the presidential elections.
In the parliamentary elections, Baba Jamal had 20,471 votes while Dr Asare had 19,914. In the presidential elections, Nana Akufo-Addo had 20,678 while President Mahama had 19,118.
In a similar vein, the NPP parliamentary candidate for Asuogyaman, Kofi Osei Ameyaw was able to snatch the seat from the incumbent NDC MP, Rev. Akoto Osei; but in the presidential division, President John Mahama won.
Osei Ameyaw had 20,715 votes as against Rev Akoto Osei’s 18,650 while John Mahama had 21,777 as against Nana Akufo-Addo’s 18,110.
Generally the voting process in the region was very peaceful. The NDC had its firm grip on its traditional strongholds of the Kroboland and Afram Plains area of the region as well as the Upper West Akim constituency, while the NPP increased its seats in the region from 22 to 26 out of the region’s 33, taking all five newly created constituencies and losing one of its previous seats at Akwatia but gained Asuogyaman.
There were however some problems at Suhum, seen as one of the flashpoints in the region.
There was commotion during the collation of results at the Suhum community centre, where the NDC candidate, Julius Debrah, had raised the alarm of being shortchanged and therefore decided not to sign the collated results.
The incumbent MP, Frederick Opare Ansah, used 388 votes to beat him but he raised concerns that he had rather won.
His supporters decided to throw stones into the community centre where collation was taking place until reinforcement of armed military and police personnel were called in to quell the situation.
Source: Thomas Fosu Jnr/Daily Guide
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