The Race to elect a successor to the late Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu has taken off with six people picking nomination forms to contest the Asante-Akyem New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary slot.
According to the constituency secretary, Agyekum Duku, six people including Isaac Kwasi Hammond, a business executive and Andy Kwame Appiah-Kubi, have picked the forms as at yesterday. The Asante Akyem Constituency NPP opened nominations on Friday leading to the mad rush for the forms. Other aspiring candidates for the constituency, where Hon. Baah-Wiredu had been MP for the past 12 years, including Samuel Anyan Kusi, United States-bases Ghanaian, Kwame Anyimadu, a Kumasi-based private legal practitioner and Ms. Susan H. Akomea, based in London, who is the only female amongst them.
However, there are indications that Lawyer Maxwell Opoku-Agyemang, a lecturer at the Ghana School of Law in Accra may also pick forms by the close of nominations today. Sources said Mr. Opoku-Agyemang was spotted last week at the constituency introducing himself to opinion leaders in the area making known his intentions. After the close of nominations today, the aspirants would be vetted before the primary is conducted by the close of the week, according to source. Agyeman Duku told Daily Guide Newspaper that time was not on their side, and therefore the party was fast-tracking the process in order to beat the Electoral Commission's deadline of October 17.
At the last primary that retained Mr. Baah-Wiredu, two people contested him including Andy Appiah Kubi, who was called to the Bar just on Friday. The departed Minister trounced all his opponents to retain the slot with Andy picking the second position. Available information indicates that, the race may between Andy and Kwasi Hammond, a 49-year old business executive.
Hammond, a former member of the Local Organizing Committee of Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations, enjoys the support of power brokers in the constituency as a possible successor to Baah-Wiredu. He was a member of the Baah-Wiredu campaign team for election 2008 and had contested for the position of the District Chief Executive for Asante Akyem North District Assembly in 2001. He holds B.A in Public Administration.