General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has revealed reasons why Member of Parliament for Kumbungu constituency, Ras Mubarak, and some other notable figures in the NDC lost out in their respective bids to represent the party in the Parliamentary elections in 2020.
According to Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the reasons vary from poor relationship of Members of Parliament with their Constituency Executives and delegates to the relocation of persons who sought to contest the primaries.
A total of nine incumbent Members of Parliament (MP) lost their bids to contest the 2020 Parliamentary Election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the primaries held last month.
Notable amongst them are Ras Mubarak [Kumbungu constituency], Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea [Amasaman constituency], Joseph Yieleh Chireh [Wa west constituency], Mathias Kwame Ntow [Aowin constituency], and Amenga-Etogo [Chiana Paga constituency]
Others include Francis Dakura [Jirapa constituency], Kwesi Asiamah [Buem constituency], Aziz Abdul Muniru [Akan constituency], and Eric Osei-Owusu [Afram Plains South constituency].
While some of the defeated aspirants blamed their loss on incidents of vote-buying, others accepted their defeat in good fate.
But speaking on Joy News, Mr. Asiedu Nketia said the party wasn’t surprised by the outcome of the election.
According to him, a contributing factor to why some lost, specifically the Kumbungu legislator, Ras Mubarak, was because of his relationship with his constituency executives and delegates.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia in the interview monitored by ABC News argued that Ras Mubarak was well aware of the fact that his chances of winning the elections were rather too slim but still went ahead with the exercise.
“You see when you look at this past election, there weren’t many surprises at all, there are people who everybody knew they were going to lose and yet they went in to lose and so. I’m sure Ras Mubarak if he will be candid, he himself declared that because we have departed from the one man one vote and we are now going to use executives and delegates, it’ll affect his chances, he declared it even before going down there so I’m surprised that he’ll be talking about vote-buying, he anticipated that it could be problematic to him even before going into the elections. When you say ‘it will be a problem for me’ what does it mean? It means that you have a chance of winning and you have a chance of losing but he will tell you that even at vetting he had problems with his constituency executives. It is an open secret that he wasn’t dealing with his executives, and these delegates are essentially executives, they are constituency executives and branch executives who met to take that decision. So if you have problems with the executives, your chances of losing the election will be high, that is clearly a contributing factor” he noted.
“And again those who lost, constituencies punish people who relocate from one constituency to another constituency to seek election; the trend I have observed has shown that many people who have left one constituency to the other have not fared well in this election. When you take Vicky Hammer, she contested first here in Accra, before relocating to Kintampo, she did her first primaries, she lost, she went again and she lost again. When you take Ras Mubarak, he contested his first primaries in Accra here then he relocated to Kumbungu, he won the first primaries and he came to parliament and then he lost this one, there are many many of such cases across that, people who relocate, even if they win their first primaries are not able to integrate well and then it goes against them,” the chief scribe of the NDC said in the interview.
Ras Mubarak, who was defeated in the parliamentary primaries meanwhile insists he lost the election due to vote-buying practices by his opponent.
Speaking to Citi News, Ras Mubarak claimed that: “As a country, we have to rethink the way we want our politics to go forward. We have seen levels of vote-buying and particularly in the Kumbungu election. Interestingly I have even reported and complained to the BNI to look into the possibility of money laundering. Officially, I have reported to the BNI to look at how people could just share money like crazy so to speak just three days ago.”
However, reacting to these allegations, Mr. Asiedu Nketia reduced such claims to the pain of losing an election.
“Let me tell you, for those of you who are not in politics, when you lose elections, it’s a very difficult moment so if you have a loved one who goes through elections, immediately after declaration, it will be a good thing to as much as possible, prevent him from talking. Generally, if anybody loses elections, it is important that the loved ones get around that person, preventing him from talking because there are cases where they say things and they later live to regret and maybe that could be the reason why none of them has submitted any petition for us to investigate concerning vote-buying and other things. I don’t have any such petitions here. So it tells us that it is one thing reacting spontaneously to something and then later on sitting to say that well, what I have said, do I have evidence to be able to present it for investigations? If the answer is no, they wouldn’t dare bring that thing” he said.
He said the NDC is not investigating any allegation of vote-buying since none of the parties involved have officially presented any evidence to warrant such an action by the party.
“Nobody has presented any such case to my attention. In fact, if there are letters to that effect, then maybe I haven’t seen them but my checks haven’t revealed anybody sending any petition along those lines to be investigated. I’m saying that he has not brought any allegation and talking off the cuff after election declaration cannot be the basis for any investigation. If anybody wants any matter to be investigated, they are members of the party and they know how to process those requests for the investigations to be conducted. So it is easy to find a scapegoat in something when you want to face the results of your own actions so whiles I wouldn’t write what they are claiming off, I think that as I sit here, I don’t have any basis to trigger any investigations into any vote-buying
And as at the time he was talking, it was reported that he said he was talking to the BNI and so on, well if that’s what he has chosen to do, let’s await the outcome of what he has reported, certainly he will be called to provide evidence and then the others who he is alleging to have misconducted themselves will also be called but as we speak, the NDC is not investigating any allegation because there is no report for us to investigate. There are people who went for monitoring in different places and they could be talking even as they were doing their monitoring, and since all of us have not met, I wouldn’t know what submission will be made by who for what to be investigated” he stated.
According to Mr. Asiedu Nketia, to the best of his knowledge, the Phase-one of the NDC primaries was generally fair and smooth this year in comparison to previous years.
“Well we haven’t finished yet, we have about 77 constituencies to deal with at this stage but so far our assessment is that everything has gone on pretty well, pretty smoothly, it is not possible to have a nationwide exercise without hitches here and there but when you compare what has happened this year to what happened in previous years, I think we’ve made a lot of progress. First of all, there were few cases and I’d say very few cases where people were not satisfied with some of the processes. I mean there were complaints about picking of forms, and some other things and vetting and the outcome of vetting and so on but if you’re talking about aggregates, you see that we had only about 17 cases that were reported to us up to the time we had done the vetting and we were proceeding for the D-day, previous years we could have them in dozens.” He told JoyNews.