After several postponements, bitter wrangling, petty accusation and counter-accusations, the NPP Parliamentary Primary for the Sunyani East Constituency would hopefully take place on Sunday August 22, 2004.
And surprisingly it looks as if sanity has prevailed and paved the way for the unanimous endorsement of the sitting MP, Mr. J.H. Mensah as the candidate for the 2004 election. Already two of the five contestants who were challenging Mr. J.H. Mensah have announced their withdrawal form the race and Free Press has gathered that frantic efforts are being made to persuade the other three to do so.
Those who have announced their withdrawal include the one most tipped to topple J.H. Mensah, the popular lawyer Nana Obiri Boahen and the party's regional youth organiser, Mr Kwame Awuah Twumasi. Still in the race and yet to be persuaded are Mr. Ameyaw Kyeremeh, presiding member of the Sunyani Municipal Assembly, Dr. Kofi Bobi Banmah, lecturer at Catholic University College and Mr George Kofi Kumi. The Sunyani East primary has been one of the most controversial in this year's NPP primaries. Even though Mr. J.H. Mensah has been an asset to the NPP at the national level, his constituents have accused him of neglecting them and it was obvious he would have lost the primary in an even challenge.
However, the national executives and interested parties in the NPP wanted J.H. Mensah returned to parliament and that was when the trouble started. After a fractious vetting session where attempts made to disqualify some contestants failed, the national executives then resorted to postponing the primary whilst working feverishly to dissuade the other contestants from competing. This resulted in the trading of accusations and favouritism, imposition and manipulation, and at one time a section of the NPP members in the US issued a statement condemning the attempts to impose J.H. Mensah.