A keen contest for positions is anticipated this weekend as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) goes to the polls to elect regional executives to steer the affairs of the party at that level for the next four years.
The polls begin today with the women and youth elections.
A total of 712 candidates are contesting the various positions that are up for grabs, including Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Secretary and Deputy Secretary, Organiser and Deputy Organiser, Treasurer and Deputy treasurer.
Others are Communications Officer and Deputy, Women’s Organiser and Deputy, the Zongo Caucus Coordinator, Youth Organiser and Deputy.
Meanwhile, the party has postponed the elections in two regions, namely, Bono East and Ahafo, while, in the Eastern Region, only the women and youth organiser elections will come off as scheduled.
A statement signed by the NDC’s Deputy Director of Elections, Daniel Amartey, said the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the party decided to put on hold the elections in the Bono East Region following deliberations on a report by the National Elections Committee which settled on the dissolution of the regional elections committee with immediate effect.
It indicated that a new date for the elections in the Bono East Region would be announced later.
It said the FEC was also waiting for the report of the committee set up to investigate the violence that characterised the vetting of regional aspirants in the Bono East Region and would act on the committee’s recommendations in due course.
For the Ahafo Region, the statement said the elections were postponed because of some outstanding appeal processes in respect of some constituencies in that region, adding that the elections would be held there from November 18 to 20, 2022.
For the Eastern Region, the FEC approved a request by the regional executive committee for a one-week extension and, therefore, postponed the main regional conference to between November 18 and 20, 2022.
TEIN delegates list
It further indicated that the FEC was deeply concerned about the fact that the national secretariat and the elections directorate had not received the list of accredited members of the Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) and delegates list.
“Even more worrying are the numerous petitions and protest letters on the eligibility of some TEIN institutions and delegates that the national secretariat has been inundated with.
“The FEC has, effective last Tuesday (November 8, 2022) set up a committee to compile a credible register of all accredited TEIN institutions and delegates for all the 16 regions of the country, which register is what will be used for the upcoming regional and national youth and women conferences,” it said.
All is set
Notwithstanding the developments, Mr Amartey told the Daily Graphic that all was set, in terms of security arrangements, logistics and venues, for the regional contests in the regions where the elections would come off.
He said the Electoral Commission (EC) would supervise the polls, and that over 300,000 delegates, comprising constituency and regional executives, as well as former government appointees, were expected to cast their votes in the elections.
The regional delegates conference is a precursor to the national delegates congress of the party, slated for December 17, 2022.
All things being equal, the party will also go for its presidential primary some time next year to elect a flag bearer for the 2024 general election.
The regional polls will be hotly contested in the Greater Accra, Northern, Western, Western North and Upper West regions where some stalwarts of the party will slug it out for the various positions.
Key among the positions that will be keenly contested are the regional chairmanship and the secretaryship.
In the Greater Accra Region, the incumbent chairman, Kobina Ade Coker, who is seeking re-election, is being challenged by four other candidates.
They are a former Member of Parliament (MP) for Adentan, Emmanuel Nii Ashie Moore; Thomas Ashong; Kojo Obeng Berkoh and Michael Tetteh Kwetey.
Some party faithful, in an interaction with the Daily Graphic, predicted a close contest between Mr Coker and Nii Moore.
Another position that will be hotly contested is the secretaryship, which is a straight battle between a former MP for Ablekuma Central, Theophilus Tetteh Chaie, and Victor Quarshie S. Adonoo.
Seven contestants will slug it out for the deputy youth organiser position.
They are Alhaji Mohammed Juda, Amira Nasiru, Michael Kwetey Tetteh, Charles Gben, Patrick Faith Ametu, Edward Mortey and Gideon Hammond.
Three candidates are contesting the women’s organiser position — Felicia Mekpoi Bortey, Happy Ogboo MacCarthy Darku and Lucy Rio Sebbie.
More women positions
In the Upper East Region, the incumbent women’s organiser, Rahinatu Haruna, who is seeking a second term, is being challenged by Fawziatu Quidad Yakubu.
The Western Region also has two candidates contesting the women’s organiser position — Gladys Egyin and Beatrice Sam.
Also in the Savannah Region, three people are contesting the women’s organiser position. They are Abibata Issah, Nafisah Zakaria and Asana Mahama.
For the Northern Region, the chairmanship position is being contested by four candidates, comprising the current acting regional chairman, Ali Adolf J. Mburidiba, Godfred Apasinaba Sulemana Wumbei, Hajj Rufai Vellim and Alhaji Umar Farouk.
However, some party faithful in the region who spoke with the Daily Graphic said it would be a two-horse race between Adolf and Wumbie, a former regional organiser.
The secretary position will be a straight fight between the incumbent, Mohammed Abdul Salam, and Dr Abubakari Wumbei, but party faithful believe Salam will be retained.
Western, Western North & Upper East
In the Western Region, the chairmanship race is between the incumbent, Nana Kojo Toku, and Gibrilu Laminn, while in the Western North Region, the contest for the chairmanship will be hotly contested by Michael Aidoo and Jerry Kankam Darkwa.
Another hot contest will be the Vice-Chairmanship, which has three candidates, made up of Henry N. Rockefeller, David Koah and Ernest Darko, while the Regional Secretary position in Western North also has three candidates, namely: George Ofori Danquah, Jacob Ware and Stephen Donkor.
In the Upper West Region, the incumbent Chairman, Abdul Nasir Salam, aka Bunas, is being challenged by Alhassan Adams, alias Randy
Three regional chairmen are going unopposed.
They are Kwadwo Nyamekye Marfo, Bono Region; Alhaji Abdulai Mumuni Bolnaba, Upper East Region, and Alhaji Seidu Imoro, Savannah Region.