Asiedu Nketia

Asiedu Nketia

Analysis of parliamentary results of the 2012 election indicates that 28 seats out of the 275 parliamentary seats across the country won with less than a 1000 votes could fall to either the ruling National Democratic Congress or the opposition New Patriotic Party if any of the parties upped their campaigns in 2016. 

Data available at the Electoral Commission indicates that these 28 seats were marginally won by candidates of the two leading political parties, invariably with less than 1000 votes at most, and as the dynamics in those constituencies remain fluid, they could fall to any of the two leading political parties come 2016. 

Aside the Akan constituency in the Volta region which was won by an aggrieved NDC member, Joseph Kwadwo Ofori, with votes difference of 803 against the NDC candidate John Kwadwo Gyapong, the remaining 27 constituencies were straight fights between the ruling party and the biggest opposition New Patriotic Party. 

Out of the 27 seats won with less than a 1000 votes, NDC bagged 12 of them whiles the remaining 15 went the way of NPP. Northern region topped the list of regions with seats below a 1000 votes with eight seats followed by Brong Ahafo and Greater Accra, four seats each, Ashanti and Eastern, three seats each, Upper East two seats and the Volta, Upper West, Western and Central regions with one seat each. 

In the Northern region, the NDC won the Gushegu, Nalerigu/Gambaga, Mion, Yapei-Kusawgu and Saboba constituencies with vote margin of 695, 420, 551, 667 and 676 votes respectively while NPP won the Tatale Sanguli with 36 votes, Bunkprugu, 680 and Yagaba-Kubori, 948 votes difference.  

In the Greater Accra region, NPP won Tema East with three vote margin, Ayawaso Central, 635 votes and Tema West, 945 votes while NDC grabbed Bortiano/Ngleshie Amanfrom with 188 votes. The case in the Brong Ahafo region was not too different as NPP won Jaman North, Nkoranza North and Asutifi North with 202, 720 and 827 vote gap respectively whereas NDC leapfrogged the NPP with 695 votes in the Banda constituency. 

While it would have been thought that the NPP would have won seats in its stronghold, Ashanti region, with gapping results, the opposite was the case as its candidates for the Ejura-Sekyedumase and Offinso North grabbed the seats with only 295 and 607 vote difference respectively, with the NDC netting the Ahafo Ano North seat with 423 vote margin. 

Also, in the NPP?s flag bearer?s home region, Eastern, the party won Suhum and Fateakwa North with vote margin of 388 and 973 respectively whilst NDC won Akwatia with a margin of 557 votes. 

In Upper East the margin between NPP and NDC candidate in the Nabdam constituency was 552 votes while in Garu, the difference between the NDC and NPP was 557 votes. In Mpohor in the Western region, the NPP candidate won with a difference of 781 votes while the NDC candidate in the Hemang Lower Denkyira in the Central region won with a margin of 31 votes with another NDC candidate grabbing the Wa West seats in the Upper West region with a margin of 341 votes. 

According to election watchers, considering the slim margin of votes between NDC and NPP candidates in the 28 constituencies across the country, any of the two parties that will up its campaign strategy could scoop the seats in 2016. 

In some of these constituencies, the NDC in particular, either lost or won with slim margin because an aggrieved member of the party contested as independent candidate. 

In the Tatale-Sanguli constituency in the Northern region for instance, an independent candidate, Thomas Brepong Laten, who contested the NDC primaries but lost, garnered 7,001 votes representing 32.93% while the NDC candidate, Jagri Mohammed, polled 6,826 representing 32.11%. This gave the NPP candidate, James Yanwumbe, to come tops with 7,037 (36 votes margin) representing 33.10 percent. 

According to analysts, the NDC could have won the Tatale-Sanguli seat with a wider margin if Thomas Brepong Laten had not contested as independent candidate. Same was the case in the Akan and other constituencies. 

In other constituencies where the NDC or NPP lost with thin margin, reports are that either the constituents were fed up with the candidates and/or there was serious infighting among constituency executives which resulted in apathy.

Source: The Al-Hajj


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