Joe Wise gets the nod as NPP aspirant … As former MP trails with 37 votes
From Sebastian R. Freiku, Bekwai-Ash
The independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Bekwai in the Ashanti Region, Mr. Joseph Osei-Wusu, last Saturday swept 476 votes out of the 513 valid ballots cast at the Bekwai New Patriotic Party (NPP) constituency congress to contest the 2012 parliamentary election on the ticket of the party.
A former Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and MP for the area in the Kufuor administration, Mr. Kofi Poku Adusei, who staged a comeback as the main contender, polled a miserable 37 votes.
About 714 delegates were expected to vote at the congress, which was conducted under strict security observation. It, however, turned out that 186 of the delegates did not turn up to vote. Fifteen other polling station co-ordinators had been suspended by the party for various offences, thus barring them from voting in line with the party’s constitution.
Four ballots were rejected by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) who supervised the election under the leadership of Mr. K. Asante Boahen, Municipal Electoral officer.
Mr. Poku Adusei had unceremoniously left the Wesley Methodist Church premises, where the NPP primary was held, just before polling began, and never returned to observe proceedings, let alone partake in it.
His departure was occasioned by a complaint he lodged about the suspension of the 15 polling station executives, but the party executives, including the Regional Chairman, Mr. Frederick Fredua Antoh, insisted that it was not an issue, since the matter was pending before the Regional NPP.
When it became evident that he could not convince the party executives after failing to argue his position out, he left the scene without a word to the EC officials.
At the end of the day, the Electoral Officer, Mr. Asante Boahen, declared Mr. Joe Osei-Wusu, alias Joe Wise, winner of the primary.
He was subsequently declared the Bekwai constituency parliamentary candidate of the NPP by the Regional NPP Chairman.
The declaration was greeted with wild jubilation among the delegates and town folks, who lurked around the premises to know the outcome of the primary.
The Bekwai MP appealed to party sympathisers to come out in their numbers to join the party’s campaign for votes for a massive win in the elections to enable the NPP form a government.
The MP then embarked on a “thank you” ride and acknowledged the cheers of the crowd in an open car through the principal streets of Bekwai, amid fanfare by the constituents and party supporters.
He has since yesterday attended a thanksgiving service at the local St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for a resounding victory over his main contender, Kofi Poku Adusei.
Joe Osei-Wusu’s election as the NPP parliamentary candidate confirms his popularity and the most preferred candidate as reported by an FA News Agency survey in June this year, in which he polled 83.8% ahead of others, including Poku Adusei, who polled 7.6%.
Osei-Wusu opted to contest the 2008 elections as an independent candidate after initial rivalry between him and then parliamentarian Kofi Poku Adusei.
MP Osei-Wusu polled 34,700 votes as an independent candidate in the last elections, while Kofi Poku Adusei polled 8,432 votes in the parliamentary elections in the name of the NPP.
Osei-Wusu is a lawyer by profession, having completed a 2-year professional law course at the Ghana School of Law in 1989, after he had obtained a combined Degree in Law and Classics from the University of Ghana in 1987.
He was called to the Ghana Bar in January 1990, and practiced as a private legal practitioner for 12 years before entering the public service, following his appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) under the Kufuor administration.
Meanwhile, Ernest Best Anane reports from Asiwa, the capital of Bosome-Freho, that an independent Member of Parliament, Nana Edward Ofori-Kuragu, has failed his second term bid as a parliamentarian.
He lost the seat by 17 votes to Mr. Kyei Frimpong, who polled 180 out of the 343 valid votes cast. Mr. Isaac Owusu, Deputy Regional Director of the EC supervised the Asiwa NPP primary.
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