Sixty-five persons have so far filed their nominations to contest the primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 21 out of the 22 constituencies in the Eastern Region where the party currently has sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
The Fanteakwa Constituency was the only one which could not present its candidates when nominations closed on April 1, 2008. The six remaining constituencies — Upper West Akyem, Yilo Krobo, Lower Manya Krobo, Upper Manya Krobo, Afram Plains South and Afram Plains North — which have National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs have already picked their candidates.
Briefing the press in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Yaw Gyekye Amoabeng, gave the breakdown of the number of candidates who filed at the various constituencies as follows: Akyem Swedru, three; Akropong, one; Abirem, three; Ofoase Ayirebi,two; Aburi Nsawam, two; Abetifi, four; Abuakwa North,two; New Juaben South, four; New Juaben North, three;,Nkawkaw, three; Lower West Akyem, three; Mpraeso, five; Ayensuano, five; Kade, four; Akwatia, three; Asuogyaman, two; Abuakwa South, six; Atiwa, two; Suhum, two; Okere, four, and Akim Oda, five.
Although Mr Amoabeng did not name the personalities involved, sources close to the NPP named two unsuccessful presidential candidates, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman and Mr Dan Botwe, as contesting in the New Juaben North and Okere constituencies, respectively.
Other prominent personalities, including some ministers, deputy ministers and sitting MPs, are Madam Esther Dapaah, the Minister for Lands and Forestry and MP for Abirem; Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mpraeso; Mr Ofosu Asamoah, the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister and MP for Kade; Mr William O. Boafo, the Deputy Minister for Defence and MP for Akropong, and Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw, the Deputy Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations and MP
The rest are Mr Magnus Opare Ansah, the Deputy Minister for Communications and MP for Suhum; Mr Yaw Barimah, the Immediate Past Eastern Regional Minister and MP for New Juaben South; Mr Okerchiri Adusa, the MP for Nkawkaw; Mr Godfred Okyere, the MP for Ayensuano, and Mr Emmanuel Victor Asihene, the District Chief Executive for East Akyem, Abuakwa South.
The regional chairman, who was happy that the exercise came off smoothly, said the National Executive Committee of the party would meet on Friday to set a date for the vetting of the aspirants and thanked all of them for their understanding and co-operation.
Source: Daily Graphic