Politics

Our focus in Ashanti is to increase votes – Sammy Gyamfi

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The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi has stated that the party’s intention in the Ashanti Region is to increase its votes.

Commenting on the outcome of the Kumawu by-election that saw the governing New Patriotic Party retaining the seat, he indicated that it was a blessing for the party to have increased its votes by about 1,000 compared to what it garnered in the 2020 general elections.

This is in spite of the fact that ahead of the by-election in Kumawu, the NDC sounded more hopeful that it could snatch the seat, with officials and followers banking their hopes on the failures of the incumbent government, and the economic hardship Ghanaians were facing.

The party even dispatched top members including MPs to serve as their polling agents to give the by-election a close watch.

But speaking on Ekosiisen on Asempa FM on Wednesday, Sammy Gyamfi noted that although the party did not win the ultimate in Kumawu, appreciating its votes was noteworthy.

The outcome of the Kumawu by-election was good for the NDC because the Ashanti Region is a very difficult terrain for the NDC. It is the NPP’s stronghold. In some of the Ashanti constituencies, the NDC is strong there, but with Kumawu the NDC’s strength has been weak since 1992.

After the constituency was split and the side where we were strong moved towards Sekyere Afram Plains, Kumawu as it is now is a very typical NPP area. But to improve our numbers by more than 1,000 votes between 2020 and now, it’s significant, he said.

Mr Gyamfi noted that the NDC has a lot more work to do to increase its votes in the region, admitting however that the NDC cannot win the Ashanti Region overall.

What we did is good, but we must work harder and go beyond that. Our NDC executives and everyone is working, so we are sure to do better in the subsequent elections. The objective is to increase our votes.

It’s impossible, just like NPP cannot win the Volta Region, but we must appreciate our votes. If we have 30% votes in Ashanti Region we will win any election in Ghana. If you look at the huge voter population in that region, the last time we had over 650,000 votes. If we get to about 800,000 or 900,000 votes it’s enough to win the next election or any election, he noted.

Asked whether he thought the NDC had become attractive enough to perform much better in the Ashanti Region, Sammy Gyamfi retorted thus: Even Kumawu that is so hard for the NDC, we appreciated our votes. The NPP even shared money, constructed roads at night and all that, and yet we managed to increase our votes by more than 1,000 in an area where people can even insult you for wearing NDC-branded shirts. We have done well.

In the Kumawu by-election, the NPP’s Ernest Yaw Anim polled 15,264 votes representing 70.91%, while the NDC’s candidate, Kwasi Amankwaa, came a distant second with 3,727 votes or 17.29 per cent.

In the 2020 parliamentary election, the late NPP’s Philip Basoah polled 14,960 votes, whereas the NDC’s Bernard Opoku Marfo who came third, polled a paltry 2,439 votes. In that 2020 election, however, an independent candidate, Kwaku Duah, came second with 11,698 votes.

The NDC’s votes in the by-election thus appreciated by 1,284 votes. On the other hand, the NPP increased its votes by only 302.

But as has been the case in most by-elections in Ghana, the voter turnout is often lower than what transpires at the general election.

This occurred in the Kumawu by-election, a situation which sometimes changes the dynamics in terms of a fair analysis of the parties’ or candidates’ performance.

Out of 47 parliamentary seats in the Ashanti Region, the NDC currently occupies four.

Since 1992, the NDC has never won the presidential elections in the Ashanti Region, an indication of the NPP’s strength in its stronghold.

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