Suhum (E/R), Aug. 3, GNA - A 35-year-old Information Technology Engineer, Mr Fredrick Opare-Ansah on Monday defeated the Member of Parliament (MP) for Suhum, Mr Ransford Agyepong at the New Patriotic Party (NPP) constituency primaries. Mr Opare-Ansah polled 60 votes to beat Mr Agyepong, who had 42 votes to become the first sitting NPP MP in the Eastern Region to be defeated.
A third candidate, Mr Yaw Ofosu, a social worker and a member of the Suhum-Kraboa-Coaltar District Assembly, announced his withdrawal from the contest at the eleventh hour on "personal grounds" and apologized to his supporters and urged them to support any of the candidates. In an interaction with the press after the elections, the NPP National Organiser, Mr Laud Commey described the outcome of the primaries "as a victory for democracy and the expression of the democratic culture of the NPP".
On the possible effect of a sitting MP losing his seat, he said the Party's internal democracy could "not be sacrificed for the sake of experience because, even though, experience counts, most of the experienced people in Parliament were also ordinary citizens and achieved their experience when they were given the opportunity to enter Parliament".
Addressing the delegates before the elections, the Eastern Regional Chairman of the Party, Nana Adi Ankama called for unity in the Party and advised those who lost to support the winner for the Party to retain the parliamentary seat. He reminded the candidates that it was only one of them could emerge winner of the primaries and "after that all of you need to come together to support the winner."
In his victory statement, Mr Opare-Ansah called for the end of all the various camps that were established in the run-up to the primaries and urged all to come together to support him to defeat his opponents to enable the Party to retain the parliamentary seat.