John Dumelo is gunning for victory for the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency during the NDC primaries on August 24. If he is successful, he will face incumbent Lydia Alhassan of the governing New Patriotic Party in the 2020 general elections.
Renowned Human Rights activist, Francis-Xavier Sosu, is also hoping to wrestle power from the incumbent NPP Parliamentarian in 2020 if he wins in next Saturday’s primaries. He lost to Amadu Sorogo in the NDC primaries in 2015 for the Madina Constituency.
Although the NDC lost by a wide margin to the NPP during the 2016 general polls, the two NDC aspirants believe their party’s mistake to was to downplay the role of the grassroots in the lead up to the elections.
Speaking on PM Express on Tuesday evening, John Dumelo said, “in 2016 we didn’t really involve everybody, the grassroots, especially the branches. Everything was done without the branches forgetting that the branches are the ones that actually hold the party together.”
He said should he win the mandate of the NDC delegates on August 24, he will involve everybody in the party, following the party structures for victory in 2020.
“From the top to the bottom everybody is getting involved,” he stressed.
Mr Sosu also said there is the need for the party to invigorate the base of the party, citing voter apathy as the main cause of the NDC’s loss in 2020.
“For example when it comes to Madina, the voter turnout in Madina was so abysmal in 2016. If you look at 2012, voter turnout was above 80% but in 2016, voter turnout was about 20%. Clearly, people did not turn up to vote. There was a level of apathy in the system,” he told show host, Evans Mensah.
He said the loss of the Madina constituency to the NPP may be due to the fact that the NDC candidate had been there for a long time.
“So I believe that with a new candidate on the block, it will be easier to work again with the wards, the branches to reenergize the base of the party and I represent that,” he added.
Meanwhile, the parliamentary primaries in the Greater Accra, where the seats of the two aspirants are located, has one of the highest entries.
At least 118 aspirants have picked nomination forms to contest at the various constituencies.
The aspirants comprise 20 women and 98 men. They will be seeking the approval of the electorate in the 34 constituencies of the region to represent the party in the 2020 parliamentary election.
With the exception of the Ablekuma North Constituency where Ms Winifred Ashley is running unopposed, the rest of the constituencies are expected to be keenly contested.
The Bortianor/Ngleshie/Amanfro Constituency recorded the highest number of aspirants with nine people contesting, followed by the Amasaman Constituency which had six people competing for the spot.
It will be a battle of nerves at the Odododiodoo, Sege, Trobu, Krowor, Ayawaso West Wuogon and Ayawaso North constituencies as each of the constituencies had only two aspirants expressing interest.
The rest of the constituencies recorded between three and five aspirants.
Many incumbent Members of Parliament (MPs), including the MP for Ningo-Prampram, Mr Samuel Nartey George; MP for Ablekuma South, Mr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije; MP for Odododiodoo, Nii Lante Vanderpuije, and Ashaiman MP, Mr Ernest Norgbey, are all seeking to get the nod again to represent the NDC in the 2020 parliamentary election.
The incumbent MP for Shai Osudoku, Ms Linda Ocloo, is also seeking to get the endorsement of the electorate but will face another challenge from a former Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Dr Michael Kpessah Whyte.
The two clashed in a by-election to choose a parliamentary candidate in June 2016 following the demise of Desmond William Ocloo, the husband of Linda Ocloo, shortly after he was elected.
At Ningo Prampram, the Constituency Chairman of the party, Mr Michael Kwetey Tetteh, has expressed interest to contest the seat for the second time after failing to beat competition from Sam George, who clinched the spot after beating E.T. Mensah in the 2015 parliamentary primaries of the NDC.