The Western Regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) began its parliamentary vetting in Sekondi on Monday, April 3, 2023, for 14 out of the 17 constituencies.
Vetting in three constituencies; Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira, Amenfi East and Tarkwa Nsuaem have been put on hold.
In all, 35 aspirants submitted their nomination forms to contest the 14 seats with three members of Parliament including the MP for Wassa Amenfi, Isaac Adjei Mensah, MP for Prestea-Huni-Valley, Wisdom Cudjoe and MP for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah who is the Deputy Minority Leader of Parliament, all going unopposed.
Speaking to Citi News in Sekondi, the Western Regional NDC Communication Officer, Richard Kirk Mensah called for patience from supporters to allow the vetting committee to peacefully complete their work since the three constituencies are on hold for a strategic reason for the party to win those seats.
“The first day has been smooth despite all sorts of speculations of some disqualifications, but it’s too early, and so we have to allow the committee to finish its work, after which we will brief the media on the outcome. I’m not moved by what people say or if any group of people will incite the party. We have a strategy in place to run and make sure that, at the end of the 2024 elections, we have majority of the parliamentary seats. We have done it before. In 2020, we put on hold Amenfi East and everyone was asking why we had delayed the election. We knew what we were doing, and so we went into the election and won the seat”.
He advised, “So party members should exercise patience with the Regional Executives because we are in constant touch with national executives and opinion leaders of the party. Once we see that the atmosphere is good for that exercise, we will open nomination. But strictly, it is a strategic move, that is why the three constituencies, Evalue-Ajomoro-Gwira, Tarkwa Nsuaem and Amenfi East have been put on hold”.
Richard Kirk Mensah further described as positive the increased number of women aspirants among the 35 aspirants.
“In all, there are 6 female and 29 male aspirants. The 6 female aspirants is an improvement over the four women aspirants recorded in the 2019 primaries”, he added.
Day one of the Western Regional vetting saw about six constituencies completing the vetting.
Shama constituency which was the first day of the vetting committee is expected to witness hot primaries if all candidates pass the vetting.
The four aspirants from Shama include the former Shama MP, Gabriel Kojo Essilfie, former Presidential Staffer and former Deputy Western Regional Minister, Emelia Arthur, former Shama DCE, Eric Cobbinah and a Lawyer, Kofi Sadick Baidoo.