With less than 18 months to go for the 2020 general election, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) is preparing to go for its primaries to elect strong candidates to lead them to victory.
The National Parliamentary Vetting Committee (NPVC) of the party last Friday recommended two-hundred and sixty-six (266) persons in the sixteen (16) regions to the National Executive Committee (NEC) to be cleared to contest the party’s upcoming primaries next month in orphan constituencies.
Orphan constituencies describe those constituencies in the country where the party does not have sitting Members of Parliament (MPs).
Among the names recommended by the party includes current and past government officials and The Ghana Report (TGR) takes a look at some of these notable names and where they will be contesting the primaries.
A Deputy Chief of Staff, Abulai Samuel Jinapor and brother to John Abu Jinapor, former Deputy Energy and Petroleum Minister under the John Mahama administration will be contesting the NPP’s primaries in the Damango Constituency in the Savannah Region.
Fortunately for Mr. Jinapor, he is the sole candidate who has been recommended by the party’s NPVC and if the decision is to remain so, he is going to be the only candidate and will automatically get the ticket to contest the 2020 parliamentary election.
The Deputy Chief of Staff, who is likely to go unopposed will be squaring it off with incumbent National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for the area, Adam Mutawakilu in next year’s parliamentary election.
Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Rashid Bawa and former MP has been recommended by the party to contest the primaries in the Akan Constituency, located in newly created Oti Region.
Unlike the Deputy Chief of Staff, H.E. Rashid Bawa will have the task of fending off competition from two other party members; Isaac Akan Dzamefe and Yakubu Isifu Tanko.
Former Volta Regional Minister under the John Kufuor government and current Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Hon. Samuel Kofi Dzamesi Ahiavi has also been given the nod by the party’s NPVC to contest the primaries.
He will be going unopposed barring any last-minute change hence will be assiduously working towards a concrete plan to capture the Ketu North Constituency seat for the NPP from Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi.
Per the list put out by the NPP, the Chieftaincy Minister will be contesting once more with his old-time political competitor as was the case in 2004, 2008 and 2016. James Avedzi beat Mr. Dzamesi on all three occasions. As to whether or not a fourth victory remains on the cards for Mr. Avedzi, only time will tell.
In the 2004 parliamentary election, the Deputy Minority Leader polled 28,403 representing 73.30% of total valid votes while Mr. Dzamesi polled 10,369 representing 26.70 of total valid votes.
The story was no different in the next parliamentary election as Dr. Avedzi polled 24,124 representing 67.88% of total valid votes with Mr. Dzamesi also obtaining 10,894 of total valid votes representing 30.66%.
Even though the Chieftaincy Minister’s performance improved quite significantly in the 2016 parliamentary election, he still couldn’t snatch the Ketu North seat from the NDC MP.
In the last election, Dr. Avedzi obtained: 25,260 representing 61.45% while Mr. Dzamesi polled 15,596 representing 37.94%.
Former Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) and Deputy Minister for Energy (with responsibility for the petroleum sector), Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam is the next big shot within the governing party who has been recommended to contest the NPP primaries in the Karaga Constituency in the Northern Region.
Dr. Amin Adam will be contesting with three other members of his party and can only take a shot of next year’s parliamentary election if he is able to beat competition from Alhassan Abdulai (Nabugu), Suleman Ibn Sa-eed and Baba Sayuti.
Deputy National Security Coordinator in charge of Airports, Hopeson Yaw Adorye’s bid of becoming MP is for now on course as he has also been recommended by the party’s NPCV to be cleared by the National Executive Committee to contest the primaries.
Mr. Adorye, NPP firebrand and member of the party’s Communications Team will be contesting the primaries in the Kpone-Katamanso Constituency of the Greater Accra Region.
He will be contesting with William Ofosu Asante, Prince Dadzie, Mark Fuachie-Sobreh and David Quaye Annang.
John Bennam Jabaah, former Deputy Minister under the Kufuor administration and two-time MP for the Zabzugu Constituency in the Northern Region has also been recommended for the primaries.
Hon. Jabaah previously won the parliamentary elections for the party in the 2008 and 2012. In 2008, he secured 17,983 to beat Mr. Thomas Berepong Laten of the NDC who polled 11,329 votes.
He retained the seat for the NPP in 2012. He polled 13,300 votes to beat the NDC candidate, Hon. Alhassan Umar who polled 12,213 votes.
In the 2016 election however, Hon. Jabaah narrowly lost the Zabzugu seat to Alhassan Umar. Hon. Umar polled 13,591 votes while Hon. Jabaah obtained 13,434 votes.
The former Zabzugu MP’s dream of returning to the August House will come alive if he beats fellow party compatriots; Mohammed Abubakari and Ziblila Assaga Labaran Fuseini.
The NPP will hold parliamentary elections in orphan constituencies across the country on September 28, 2019.
You can be sure your trusted news portal, The Ghana Report will bring you regular updates on the electioneering process as well as detailed analysis and predictions of those likely to sail through the primaries.