Five parliamentary candidates seeking to win the by-elections for the vacant parliamentary seat of the Buem Constituency in the Volta Region on February 26, 2013 are all geared up for an impressive showing.
They are Mr Daniel Kwasi Ashiamah, a 43-year-old marketer who is contesting on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Mr Adams Darko-Boateng, a 29-year-old teacher at the Nurriyah Islamic Basic School at Jasikan on the ticket of the People’s National Convention (PNC).
The rest are Mr Ellis Akoto-Ade, a 63-year-old retired teacher for the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Alhaji Muniru, 38, also a teacher for the National Vision Party (NVP) and Nelson Asafo, 46-year old businessman for the
Convention People’s Party (CPP). There are no independent or female candidates in the race.
Expectations are high among the electorate as the date for the polls get closer. The by-election will take place in all the 84 polling stations in the constituency.
The Buem Constituency, located in a valley along the Ghana-Togo ranges, stretches from the border of the Republic of Togo and the Hohoe-North Constituency in the East to the Akan and the Biakoye constituencies on the west. The area holds about 60 per cent of the region’s supply of cocoa. However, it is plagued by the lack of good roads, and potable water, among other social amenities.
The electorate are being given another chance to make up their minds and vote for a new candidate in a by-election following the sudden death of the former Member of Parliament for the area, Mr Henry Ford Kamel, who passed away on December 25 last year at the Jasikan District Hospital. The former MP, who was also the Volta Regional Minister, will be buried on February 23, 2013 at his home town, Guama.
While the constituency has always remained predominately an NDC stronghold since 1992, it cannot be said that it would be a straight NDC race because the previous parliamentary member’s promise to solve the unemployment situation in the area remained a mirage.
In the last elections, the Mr Kamel (who was the incumbent) polled about 19,000 of the votes, followed by the NPP candidate, Mr Francis Asuka Boakye, who had about 5,000 votes, while the CPP pulled 850 votes with the PNC placing fourth.
According to Mr Adams Darko-Boateng of the PNC, the electorate will be making a big mistake to vote for the NDC again since their MPs had failed the region for the over 20 years that they had given them the opportunity to lead the constituency.
He disclosed that he had intensified his house-to-house campaign and expressed the hope to make an impact.
He promised to empower the youth and raise the standard of education should he be given the nod. He was sure the electorate had learnt their lesson and would decide on February 26, 2013.
For Mr Ashiamah of the NDC, he had promised the electorate that he would make good use of any funds and continue with the unfinished work of the late MP to transform the area.
He also promised to involve the people in the decision making process.
Mr Akoto-Ade said education was top on his agenda and he would also help small scale farmers to address the unemployment challenges facing the youth in the area as well as increase the production of cocoa.
Mr Mohammed Shani Abukari, Jasikan District Officer of the Electoral Commission, assured the electorate of a transparent and peaceful elections.
He said the Electoral Commission had pasted the notices of polls since last Saturday throughout the constituency and party vans were seen doing vigorous campaigns for their respective candidates.