#Ballotwatch: NDC wins Busia’s hometown
The National Democratic Congress has for the first time since 2004 won the parliamentary elections at Wenchi, the hometown of an icon of the New Patriotic Party’s roots–the United Party (UP)—the late Prof Kofi Abrefa Busia.
The NDC’s Seidu Haruna unseated a senior member of the Akufo-Addo administration—Prof George Gyan-Baffuor in the backyard of Ghana’s centre-right tradition.
In his first shot at the Wenchi parliamentary seat, Mr Haruna flipped the NPP stronghold with 3,000 votes. In 2016, Prof Gyan-Baffuor, a founding member of the ruling party won by a little over 4,000 votes.
|Seidu Haruna (NDC)||26,068||52.73|
|Prof George Gyan-Baffuor (NPP)||17,110||42.70|
|Kofi Anokye Boateng (Ind)||1,456||2.85|
|Duku Eric Kofi (GUM)||417||0.82|
In what appears to be a verdict on Prof Gyan-Baffuor’s tenure, the electorates voted skirt and blouse, making President Nana Akufo-Addo the winner of the constituency’s presidential elections by 280 votes.
Although it is not the first time the country’s largest opposition party won an election in Wenchi, it is the first time an NDC parliamentary candidate flipped it.
In 2012, the NDC presidential candidate, John Dramani Mahama, won the constituency in its first skirt and blouse decision that had the NDC surprisingly winning by more than 4,300 votes, while Prof Gyan-Baffuor won the parliamentary election by a little over 4,000 votes.
In 2016, the NPP won the seat by 4,017.
Prof Baffuor a four-term MP narrowly escaped defeat during the New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries, winning by just five votes against his main opponent, Albert Ameyaw.
Given its history and the legacy of Prof Busia, many expected Wenchi to be a walkover for the NPP.
But the results turned on its head in the hometown of Ghana’s Prime Minister in the Second Republic.
Busia led Ghana from 1969 to 1972 when he was toppled by a military coup led by Col I.K Acheampong, whose regime accused Prof Busia of mismanaging the economy and bringing hardship to the people.
The revered academic is one of three founders of the centre-right leaning political party which recognises also J.B. Danquah, a respected political scientist and Simon Diedong Dombo, a Ghanaian politician as forerunners of their ideology.
With all these credentials to Busia’s name, not many people expected the NPP to lose in the backyard of a UP stalwart, whose hometown has stayed faithful to the NPP since 2004.
There were also expectations that the people of Wenchi in the Bono Region, one of three regions the government created in 2018 out of the Brong Ahafo Region, would show appreciation in votes.
But the results in Wenchi shows the region has become a swing one with the NDC and NPP splitting the spoils.
The two parties won six seats apiece.
Many reasons may account for the shift in voting patterns–one is probably voter fatigue as voter affection for long-serving MPs take a dip across the country, while a fresh wave of young politicians receive massive endorsement for Parliament.
Additionally, the Bono Region also has a high number of migrant farmers and fisherfolks from the five northern of the north and the Volta Region, which tend to vote NDC.