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Manhyia North NPP Crisis Deepens After Ablekuma West ‘Manipulated Primaries’   
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Fallout from the Ablekuma West Constituency elections of the NPP is sending wrong signals to other areas where delegates are yet to elect their parliamentary candidates. It has emerged that the party used two voters registers, one compiled by the Party Headquarters which led to the re-election of incumbent MP, Ursula Owusu-Erkuful.

The Parliamentary primaries was put on hold when it became evident some powerful individuals including flagbearer, Nana Akufo Addo wanted to ensure incumbent MP and close ally, Ursula is not voted out.

The plot was initially foiled when the party’s National Executive Committee in March 2015, issued a statement to allow only women aspirants to contest sitting members of parliament who are women in the primaries and also only Gas to contest the coastal constituencies of the Greater-Accra Region.

That unpopular decision was violently rejected amidst protests at the party headquarters and the party was compelled to withdraw it.

Some members of the Ablekuma West constituency foresaw subtle attempts to suppress aspirants who wanted to contest the incumbent MP and their agitations forced the party to put a hold on the primaries. The tension reached its peak last Sunday when it became obvious the party leadership under Nana Akufo Addo wanted his candidate to win at all cost.

On the eve of April 9, 2016, the day the election was held, the acting Chairman, his Vice, Women's Organiser and 10 other constituency executives, (13 in all) resigned citing manipulation by the incumbent MP Ursula Owusu Erkuful.

One of the candidates, Theophilus Tetteh pulled out of the election claiming the decision by the constituency to use two albums for the election is only to favour the incumbent.

Madam Owusu-Ekuful eventually polled 554 votes, while her contender Robert Kwesi Nicol garnered 317 in a delayed primary held at the Dansoman Police station polling center in Accra.

One aggrieved NPP member told the Gazette newspaper that but for the presence of heavily armed Police, there would have been bloodshed.

The NPP has since issued a statement justifying the use of two registers. The incident over the weekend has sent a strong signal to members of the party at Manhyia North, one of the constituencies in the party’s stronghold, Ashanti.

In a related development, cracks in the Manhyia North branch have deepened and the constituency executives have threaten chaos if any attempt is made to carry out a National Executive Council (NEC) directive to re-run all elections there.

The over 200 delegates and executives clad in red and armed with cutlasses, cudgels, stones and other offensive weapons chanted war songs in protest of the manipulations.

They have subsequently given the National Executive Council 48 hours that is up to the close of Wednesday, April 13 2016, to produce proof of the concerned judgment cited as the reason to rerun all elections in the constituency.

The NPP recently directed a former National Chairman Peter Mac Manu and Minority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu to conduct a re-run of elections in some 193 polling stations. A March 13 date was fixed for parliamentary primaries. The party’s National Executive Committee has ordered a re-run of all the constituency elections citing a Supreme Court ruling which nullifies the existing voters register.

Similar tension is simmering in other constituencies where the party is yet to hold its primaries….More soon.

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