IT was all jubilation at Asawase on Thursday night when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) broke the jinx surrounding its defeats in parliamentary by-elections by not just winning the Asawase constituency by-election, but with a big margin of more than 11,000 votes.
Alhaji Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak, 34, polled 31,017 votes to beat his closest challenger, NPP's Alhaji S. M. Shariff with 19,872 votes. The PNC's Ibrahim Mohammed Issaka had 419 votes.
The Electoral Commission described the election as generally free and fair, and commended the security agencies for the good work they did.
While the NDC described the victory as a sign of the failure of the NPP government in the administration of the country, the NPP downplayed the victory ascribing sympathy voting to the NDC's success in the polls.
NDC Acting General Secretary, Mr Bede Zeideng said the victory signalled the beginning of the defeat of the NPP in the 2008 elections.
But, the NPP National Chairman, Mr Harona Esseku brushed off Mr Zeideng's assertion, saying that the party was less concerned about the defeat because the people of the constituency compensated the NDC for the death of the former MP, Dr Adamu Jibril.
Overwhelmed by the wide margin of votes, an elated Alhaji Mubarak said, “ I told the NPP the defeat to Madam Patricia Appiagyei, the NPP candidate in the 2004 election, was not because the candidate was a woman.”
He added: “Today's election has shown that the NPP is getting unpopular every passing day through their bad policies.”
When the returning officer, Mr Yaw A. Asamoah, announced the results at about 10.45pm, the NDC gurus at the collation centre burst out in jubilation and it soon spread outside where hundreds of supporters had gathered waiting for the results.
In all 51,835 ballots were cast against the registered voter population of 80,134. The voter turnout was about 64 percent as against 70 percent in the 2004 elections. Mr Asamoah admitted that the election was free and fair, but was quick to say that the death of Dr Jibril was a huge contributory factor to the victory.
The poor performance put up by the PNC candidate is also worth mentioning. Here was a party that was brimming with confidence as the candidate promised that he was going to capitalise on the confusion and troubles brought about by the two leading parties to post a shocker, but ended up with a rather horrible performance.
Many believe the PNC has lost grounds in the political arena and perhaps what could save the party and other Nkrumaists parties is a merger.
The victor, Alhaji Mubarak, thanked Allah for honouring Dr Jibril with the victory, and promised that he would not disappoint his people.
Alhaji Mubarak said education would be his number one priority because that was the best way to push the development agenda of the area forward.
He said about 70 percent of the constituency was deprived and this demanded hard work from all to change the situation for the better.
This time, the MP-elect had tons of congratulations for the security agencies for “ doing a very good work”. Indeed the strong security presence kept the many trouble- shooters at bay, and they should be commended.
Alhaji Mubarak, who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has also completed a Masters Programme in Development Policy and Planning at the same University.