The battle for who to represent the ruling NPP in orphan constituencies of Ashanti region is getting interesting by the day.
There had earlier been reports that the Ashanti regional chairman had tried to prevent interested individuals from contesting his preferred candidates, an allegation he denied.
A group calling itself Patriotic Youth Alliance (PYA) accused the regional chairman, Benard Antwi-Boasiako, affectionately called Wontumi of 'mafia' tactics. The group in a strong-worded statement on the 18th of July, asked the chairman to back off and allow the process to go on smoothly.
It has emerged that a vice presidential staffer, Abdul Manaf earlier this week picked his nomination form from the national secretariat of the party. The Ejura-Sekyeredumase constituency secretary, Ms. Gifty Ndoma also according to reports, picked her nomination form from the national secretariat.
It is not yet clear why they jumped constituency and regional offices to pick their nomination forms at the national office but accusations have been rife that forms were hoarded by the regional secretariat. In a petition to national secretariat sighted by this paper, Ms. Gifty Ndoma alleged that chairman Wontumi has refused to give the forms and so she was requesting to pick the forms at the national office.
The issues got murkier when the Ashanti regional executive committee issued a resolution to bar all candidates from contesting in the orphan constituencies except the MCEs of those constituencies. These constituencies include Ejura-Sekyeredumase, Asawase, and Sekyere Afram Plains. But in what appears to be a sharp rebuttal by the Patriotic Youth Alliance, they asked all candidates to ignore the resolution from the regional executive committee. They rubbished the resolution and called it unconstitutional.
Abdul Manaf also reacted to the resolution through a series of radio interviews in which he vowed to contest for the Asawase seat. "Nobody can stop me from contesting" - angry Manaf stated. He has since filed his nominations.
Ms. Gifty Ndoma we can report authoritatively has also filed her nomination at the party's headquarters. In a company of a team of her supporters, she filed her nomination at the national secretariat.
According to the NPP's elections guidelines, picking of forms and filing of same at the national office is only possible when a candidate faces obstruction at the constituency and regional levels. This probably may be the reason for her filing of nomination at the national office.
A party official who spoke to us on condition of anonymity indicated his disquiet about the turn of events.
He believes the party's democratic credentials have been soiled by the Ashanti regional executive committee. He couldn't understand why the only woman in the contest would be given such a tough time.