The Kumawu Constituency in the Ashanti Region is holding a by-election today, May 23, 2023, to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) after the death of the former MP, Philip Basoah, who belonged to the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The by-election is being contested by four candidates: Ernest Yaw Anim of the NPP, Kwasi Amankwaa of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and two independent candidates, both named Kwaku Duah.
However, the NDC candidate, Kwasi Amankwaa, has raised some allegations against the NPP, claiming that they are engaging in unfair practices such as vote buying and bringing mentally challenged and elderly people to vote for them. He said he has witnessed some of these incidents at some polling stations and has reported them to the Electoral Commission (EC) and the police for investigation.
He expressed his disappointment that the NPP had to resort to such tactics instead of allowing a free and fair election. He said some of the people brought by the NPP were not even aware of what they were doing and were being coached by NPP agents to vote for their party.
“These people are not disabled, they are mentally deranged. They don’t even know what they are doing here. The NPP is just using them to rig the election,” he told Media General’s Ibrahim Abubakar in an interview.
The NDC candidate said he was confident of winning the by-election despite the alleged infractions by the NPP. He said he had campaigned on issues that affect the people of Kumawu such as development, health, education, and agriculture. He said he had also received support from the national executives of his party who visited the constituency to rally behind him.
The NPP candidate, Ernest Yaw Anim, has not responded to the allegations by his main opponent. He has also been campaigning on his party’s achievements and promises for the constituency. He has assured the people of Kumawu that he will continue the legacy of the late MP, Philip Basoah, who was popular among his constituents.
The two independent candidates, Kwaku Duah I and Kwaku Duah II, have also been making their case to the voters. They have both claimed that they are not affiliated with any political party and that they are only interested in serving the people of Kumawu. They have also accused the NPP and NDC of neglecting the constituency and failing to deliver on their promises.
The EC has said that it has put in place adequate measures to ensure a peaceful and credible election. It has deployed enough personnel and materials to all the polling stations in the constituency. It has also engaged with all the stakeholders, including the candidates, their agents, security agencies, civil society groups, and media to ensure a smooth electoral process.
The police have also assured that they will maintain law and order before, during, and after the election. They have warned that anyone who attempts to disrupt or interfere with the election will be dealt with according to the law.
The Kumawu Constituency has a total of 88,048 registered voters who are expected to cast their ballots at 167 polling stations across 12 electoral areas. The results of the by-election will be announced by the EC later today.