The Kumawu Constituency in the Ashanti Region is holding a by-election today to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) after the death of the incumbent, Mr. Philip Basoah, in March this year.
The by-election has been marred by allegations of electoral malpractice by some political parties and candidates. A former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, accused the Electoral Commission (EC) of supervising the signing of results sheets before voting started. He described this as “broad-day electoral theft” in a tweet.
The EC has denied any wrongdoing and said that the pink sheet in question has been discarded and replaced with a new one. The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, told TV3 that the electoral officer at the Oyoko Methodist Primary School polling station acted on his own and did not follow the EC’s procedures.
The by-election has attracted four candidates: Ernest Yaw Anim of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Akwasi Amankwaa of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and two independent candidates who share the same name, Kwaku Duah.
The NPP candidate is seen as the frontrunner, as he is backed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who have both campaigned for him in Kumawu. The NPP also enjoys a strong support base in Kumawu, as it won the seat in 2020 with 14,000 votes against 11,000 votes for the first independent candidate, Kwaku Duah.
However, the NDC candidate is hoping to cause an upset, as he has received endorsement from former President John Dramani Mahama and other party bigwigs. The NDC candidate has also promised to bring development and jobs to Kumawu if elected.
The two independent candidates are also confident of their chances, as they claim to have grassroots support and appeal to voters who are dissatisfied with the two major parties.
The by-election is being conducted under tight security, as more than 500 police personnel have been deployed to patrol the various communities and prevent any violence or disturbances. Over 33,000 registered voters are expected to take part in the by-election in 75 polling stations across the constituency.
The polls will close at 5 pm and results will be announced shortly afterwards.