By: Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
Mr. Frederick Freduah Antoh, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has given the assurance that there would be a constituency congress at Bekwai in September this year to elect a parliamentary candidate for the party.
He announced this at a rally at Bekwai on Tuesday that there should be a congress to pick a candidate to contest the 2012 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP.
The Regional Party Chairman indicated that it was in line of Article 11 of the party's constitution to elect a parliamentary candidate at a congress, and that it would be done at all cost to enable polling station executives elect a parliamentary aspirant for the party.
The Chairman further indicated that even in the event where Joe Osei-Wusu, the independent Member of Parliament, contests the position unopposed, there would be a congress to endorse the bid.
Chairman Antoh described Mr. Osei-Wusu as not merely an MP, but also a member of the NPP who was eligible to file his nomination and aspire to contest the 2012 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the party.
Mr. Antoh, who represented the party's flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, at the rally by the constituency executives to begin the electioneering campaign, said the party would then initiate a healing process to forestall the circumstances that led to a leading member going solo, resulting in the emergence of an independent candidate in the 2008 elections.
He said as a priority, the party was working towards unifying all members in the constituency to consolidate a massive win for the flagbearer in the constituency.
Mr. Antoh said he expected about three million prospective voters to be registered in the region, and that 80 percent of these votes should go to the NPP.
Meanwhile, Mr. Joseph Osei-Wusu has declared his intention to contest the parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP, when nominations open.
'When nominations are open for the primary, which is slated for September, I will contest on the ticket of the NPP, and I will win,' Osei-Wusu said confidently.
He said he entered Parliament in January 2009 as an independent MP, but had since aligned with the NPP, and is on record to have done business with the NPP, making him a member of the Minority side of the House.
According to him, in view of this position, he was entitled to do business with minority.
He said his preoccupation was to build party structures in the constituency, and ensure that 2012 election is within the grasp of the NPP, and work towards the goal of winning power.
The Bekwai MP called for a united front in the party, and cautioned all NPP sympathisers against certain events in the run up to the 2008 elections which cost the party.
Osei-Wusu opted to contest the 2008 elections as an independent candidate, after initial rivalry between him and the then parliamentarian, Mr. Kofi Poku Adusei, which situation was not properly managed by the party.
According to him, the party abandoned campaigning as a result of the volatile situation from the said rivalry which threatened the peace of the constituency.
MP Osei-Wusu, popularly called Joe Wise by his admirers, said with a united front, the NPP could manage the situation in the constituency.
He said in 2000, then candidate Kufuor secured 44,000 in the presidential election against NDC's 4,000 which increased in 2004, but dropped by 6,000 votes in 2008, while the NDC gained an extra 1,000 votes.
Joseph Osei-Wusu, who has since last year been entrusted to lead the electioneering campaign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, in the Bekwai constituency, said his task was ensure a massive win for the party's presidential candidate for the 2012 elections, by improving on the 38,287 in the presidential and 8,432 votes in the parliamentary elections (the lowest ever), with the NDC polling about 5,144 (the highest) in the constituency in the 2008 elections.
The MP, who polled 34,700 votes as an independent candidate in the last elections, says he is targeting 90% of votes for the party, adding that the election results for the NPP in the 2008 was a complete misnomer.
He commended the commitment of the Bekwai constituents towards last Tuesday's rally, and called all and sundry to rally behind the NPP to assume power.