04.12.2008 Elections

Political Parties intensify politicking in Eastern Region

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The Eastern Region, which holds the second largest bloc of 28 seats in Parliament, is witnessing intense politicking as political parties make last minute push for votes, especially in view of predictions of a run-off.

Having more seats than Greater Accra Region's share of 27 and only second after Ashanti Region's 39, the two major political entities, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), are both firing on all cylinders for the kill next Sunday.

The NPP has in recent times performed better than the NDC in both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the region, and the party is using its firm support in the three Akyem Traditional areas, as well as the New Juaben, Kwahu and Akuapem areas as a route to win more votes.

The NDC, on the other hand, is capitalizing on the momentum generated by the recent groundbreaking visit by its Flagbearer, Professor J.E.A. Mills to slow NPP's drive and retake some of the seats it lost to its opponent in the Fanteakwa, Asuogyaman, Aburi-Nsawam and the New Abirem areas.

In the 2004 elections for instance, President J.A. Kufour polled 554, 933 votes or 60.2 per cent as against NDC Professor Mills' 353, 356 votes or 38.3 per cent, with the People's National Convention (PNC) leader Dr Edward Mahama getting some 5,532 votes or 0.6 per cent.

NPP also outclassed the NDC in the 2004 parliamentary elections in the region taking 22 seats of the 28 with the NDC scrambling for the remaining 6, a far-cry from its sterling performance in the 1996 and 2000 elections when the party clearly held sway over other parties.

Both entities are fielding 28 candidates apiece with the Convention People's Party (CPP), doing so in 25 constituencies save the Mpraeso, Abuakwa South and the Atiwa constituencies.

The People's National Convention Party (PNC), is slugging for 18 seats, whiles the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), is making its presence felt in five constituencies namely Lower Manya Krobo, Nkawkaw, Akim Oda, Fanteakwa and Afram Plains North.

For the other parties, the Ghana National Party (GNP), is pitching is turf for the Kade seat alone, but the Democratic People's Party (DPP), is much bolder, bidding for three seats, including the Aburi-Nsawam, Lower West Akim and Akim Oda.

The presence of 12 independent candidates completes the menu of a field of 120 candidates, of whom 108 are men and the remaining 12 females.

Almost all professionals are represented in the menu, including some well-regarded health professionals notably Dr Seth Koranteng, a retired police officer, Dr Kofi Asare, until recently the Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Akyem Apea Kubi, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and Dr Kwame Agyeman.

In terms of education, Dr Seth Koranteng, NDC candidate for Mpraeso, who possesses a Doctor of Philosophy cum a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Moscow Friendship University can be said to be leading the pack followed by Dr Samuel Amoako, NPP candidate for Abuakwa North, who obtained his doctorate from Columbia University in the United States.

Also listed is Mr Mike Ofori Darko, a Journalist, who is racing for the Ayensuano seat and a host of other professionals populated by teachers, legal practitioners, farmers, pharmacists, engineers and Abubakar Musa who listed his profession as unemployed. The oldest candidate is 76-year-old Nana Arku Akrah, representing NDC for the Aburi-Nsawam constituency, while the youngest is George Addo Opare, a University of Ghana graduate who was born in 1981 and contesting for the NDC in the Okere constituency.

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