The outcome of the 2012 presidential elections may have left a sour taste in the mouth of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but on the other side of the coin, the party may have a lot to smile about with regard to its performance in the parliamentary elections in the Northern Region.
In a region that has been considered as one of the strongholds of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), the NPP won ten out of the 31 parliamentary seats.
The party could previously boast only three seats out of the 26 constituencies. They are Bimbilla, Zabzugu and Nanton. As expected, it maintained its hold on Bimbilla and Zabzugu, but lost to the NDC in Nanton.
The party succeeded in wresting a number of seats that were won by the NDC in 2008, namely: Kpandai, Walewale, Tolon, Yendi, Yagaba/Kubori and Bunkpurugu.
It recaptured Chereponi, a seat that it won in 2008, but lost to the NDC in a by-election in September, 2009 following the death of the then NPP MP, Hon Doris Asibi Seidu.
The NPP candidate, Mr Azumah Sanda, secured 11, 680 votes to beat the incumbent NDC MP, Mr Samuel Jabanyite, who polled 10, 565 votes.
The NPP also won one out of the five newly created constituencies in the region, Tatale-Sanguli. Its candidate, Mr James Cecil Yanwube, obtained 7,037 votes as against 7001 votes secured by an independent candidate, Mr Thomas Borepong Laten. The NDC candidate, Mr Jagri Mohammed, managed to poll 6826.
So, it appears the NPP has made significant inroads in the Northern Region with respect to parliamentary seats and this certainly comes as good news to the party.
“We have improved dramatically from three (3) to ten (10) seats and this is very significant,” the Director of Communications of the NPP in the Northern Region, Mr Abudu Abdul-Ganiyu, stated in an interview.
He said the party was happy it had improved its performance and this was an indication that the NDC MPs were not meeting the expectations of their people.
What accounts for the inroads made by the NPP in the Northern Region? Some observers hold the view that the NDC was in pole position to win many of the seats, but lost those seats because of the parliamentary candidates they fielded.
The candidates were either unpopular or that the people had personal issues with them. In Kpandai, for instance, many people were fed up with their veteran MP, Mr Likpalimor Kwajo Tawiah, who has been in Parliament since 1992.
It is instructive to note that in some of these constituencies, John Dramani Mahama of the NDC won the presidential election, but the party’s parliamentary candidates lost.
In Tatale/Sangule, John Dramani Mahama secured 10,060 votes, while the NDC parliamentary candidate, Mr Jagri Mohammed, managed to poll only 6,826 votes.
In Kpandai, John Dramani Mahama secured 22,145 votes, but the NDC’s candidate, Mr Likpalimor Kwajo Tawiah, who is a veteran parliamentarian, polled only 13,794.
John Dramani also emerged victorious in Bunkpurugu, where he secured 17,393 votes. The NDC’s parliamentary candidate, Mr Duut Bonchel Abdulai, polled 10,149.
It is also possible to blame the loss of these parliamentary candidates on the inroads made by some independent candidates, some of whom had links with the NDC.
What emerged, however, as a positive development is the growing trend where voters choose parliamentary candidates who they have confidence in, while rejecting non-performing MPs, irrespective of their parties.
Article by Nurudeen Salifu
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