THE RULING NEW patriotic Party (NPP) is set to present Alhaji Baba Cherif, one of the few real zongo Muslim men in its camp as its parliamentary candidate for the vacant Asawase constituency of the Ashanti Region.
The seat became vacant following the death and burial last week of Dr Mohammed Gibrine, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for the constituency. The late Gibrine, a medical practitioner and one of the numerous indigenous settlers in the constituency won the seat by thrashing the ruling party's Patricia Appiagyei, an Ashanti, by over 10,000 votes.
In what is seen as a departure from its last campaign mistake of foisting an Ashanti on the largely non-Ashanti, non-Akan constituency in the heart of Kumasi, the party has already set in motion plans to sell the candidature of the man, who currently represents the Kufuor administration's interest in Guinea to reclaim the seat it ignominiously lost to the NDC in the December 7 elections
Information gathered by this paper by press time suggests that President Kufuor has decided to recall Cherif, currently Ghana's Ambassador to Guinea, home to prepare for the parliamentary race for the Asawase seat.
Sources say Patricia Appiagyei, the defeated NPP candidate in the December elections, who has since been nominated as the deputy Minister for the Ashanti Region, risks losing the seat again should the party foist her on the constituency.
The well-resourced Patricia Appiagyei lost out the seat at the thick of Kumasi, capital of the NPP stronghold of Ashanti Region in the last elections, despite having sunk an estimated C3 billion into her campaign because of the overwhelming rejection by the constituents of her ethnic background, this paper's enquiries suggests.
Incidentally, sources in the NDC say the party is presently weighing its choices over the seat. Keep reading.