Since the return to democratic governance in 1992, the Upper West Region has always been a safe zone for the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The NDC got majority of the votes from the region compared to the other political parties. In the 1992 elections, the NDC won seven out the eight (8) parliamentary seats in the Upper West Region. The NCP won the Jirapa constituency seat. In the 1996 elections, the NDC again won all the eight parliamentary seats in the Upper West Region. In the 2000 elections, the NDC won seven out of the eight seats
Two more constituencies were created in the region in 2004, this saw the number of constituencies in the region increased from eight to ten. The Sisaala West and Wa West constituencies were added. The NDC won seven out of the ten constituencies with the PNC wining the Sisaala East and Sisaala West seats and the NPP won only the Wa East seat. In the 2008 general elections, the NDC experienced a reduction in the number of seats won from seven in the previous election to six with the NPP winning three seats that is winning two more seats compared to the previous election and the PNC won only one seat.
Fast forward to 2012, the Lawra –Nandom constituency was split into two taking the number of constituencies in the region to eleven (11). The NDC convincingly won ten (10) out of the eleven seats with an independent candidate winning the Jirapa constituency seat.
2016 came by and the fortunes of the NDC in the region seem to have dwindled. The NDC managed to recapture the Jirapa constituency seat which they lost to an independent candidate in 2012 but surprisingly lost five of their incumbent seats to the NPP leaving them with just six seats.
As the next general elections approaches in 2020, it is the desire of the NDC to gain back the seats that it lost to the NPP in the 2012 elections. It is therefore not surprising seeing about 38 candidates picking up nomination forms to contest in the primaries in the various constituencies by close of day 12th July, 2019.
The breakdown of the number of people who picked up nomination forms in the various constituencies is as follows; Sisaala East six (6) people, Sisaala West, three people, Lambussie, three people, Nandom constituency one person, Lawra two people, DBI, one person, Jirapa, seven people, Nadowli-Kaleo, nine people, Wa West and Wa East both had two people picking nomination forms and lastly, four people picked nomination forms for Wa central.
The large numbers alone gives a clear indication of the desire by individuals to lead the party in the various constituencies. But can all these people be trusted? Do they all have genuine reasons to lead the NDC to victory come 2020? What will the delegates be taking into consideration when casting their votes? Will they be voting base on the highest bidder (candidate that gives more money)? Will they vote base on the candidate’s capability to do the job or they will vote along religious or tribal lines.
We only wait to see, an effective analysis of the candidates capabilities will be done after the 24th of August after the delegates have spoken through their votes.
By Pius Doozie