Seventy-four parliamentary hopefuls, out of a total of 83 who picked forms to contest in the upcoming parliamentary primaries of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Eastern Region, have successfully filed their nominations.
The NPP has scheduled April 25 to conduct parliamentary primaries for constituencies where it has sitting Members of Parliament.
The party won 27 out of the 33 parliamentary seats in the Eastern Region in the 2016 general election.
Jeff Konadu Addo, the party’s regional secretary, who confirmed this to the Daily Statesman, stated that out of the 27 constituencies, Bryan Acheampong, Minister of State at the Presidency in charge of the Interior and MP for Abetifi, in going into the contest unopposed.
Others who are unopposed are Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information and MP for Ofoase/Ayirebi, and Dan Botwe, Minister Regional Reorganisation and Development and MP for Okere; Joseph Tetteh, MP for Upper Manya Krobo, the only seat the party has in the Krobo enclave; and George Kwame Aboagye, MP for Asene Manso Akroso.
Apart from the five constituencies whose MPs are running unopposed, seven other constituencies have two candidates each; five constituencies have three candidates; while six constituencies have four candidates each.
Meanwhile, three other constituencies have five candidates contesting.
The Nkawkaw constituency primaries is expected to be the hottest with as many as six candidates filing to contest.
Out of the six, two, Okerchiri Kwabena Adusa and Seth Adjei Baa, are former MPs, while one, Joyce Opoku Boateng, is contesting the primaries for the third time, having contested in both the 2012 and 2016 primaries.
The Eastern Regional Minister and the incumbent MP, Eric Kwakye Darfour, is seeking re-election, with David Asante, convenor of pro-government pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) and one Joseph Frimpong contesting for the first time.
Meanwhile, at the close of nominations on February 20 2020, 49 persons who picked up nomination forms in the Central Region had all successfully filed.
The 49 will be battling for the 19 parliamentary slots of the party in the region.
Three candidates, Alexander Afenyo Markin, MP for Effutu; Ekow Kwansa Hayford, of Mfantseman; and Francis Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, MP for Ekumfi, will go unchallenged.
Per the timetable for the primaries, vetting is expected to be conducted between February 28 and March 8.