The Ashanti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) has given assurance of adequate security protection as the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) readies to hold its parliamentary primaries on Saturday, June 20.
Delegates in 27 out of the region’s 44 constituencies would be voting in various electoral areas to pick the party’s parliamentary candidates for the coming December general election.
Eighty (80) aspirants, including six females, are contesting the parliamentary primary election in those constituencies.
Sixteen (16) of them, however, are sole candidates (unopposed), while the election in the Kwadaso Constituency has been pushed back to Wednesday, June 24.
Two constituencies, Asawase and Ejura-Sekyeredumasi – both “orphaned”, had already elected their parliamentary candidates.
The primaries in Ashanti, a stronghold of the NPP, is likely to see closely fought battles in some constituencies like Adansi-Asokwa, Bantama, Manhyia North, Subin, Effiduase-Asokore, Ejisu, Old-Tafo, Asante-Akim North, Asante-Akim Central and Asante-Akim South.
The Regional Minister and Chairman of REGSEC, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, at a media briefing in Kumasi, said they were not leaving anything to chance.
He said they would act decisively to deal with any threat to peace and order, adding that, “we are warning party supporters to stay off trouble”.
He announced that there was going to be strong security presence and that motor-bikes would not be allowed anywhere near the voting centres.
Barely twenty-four (24) hours to the elections, there is confusion over the voters’ album in some of the constituencies and that is creating uneasy calm.
Some delegates’ are crying fouls over the voters’ roll (albums), to be used for the elections in their areas, which they are claiming have been tampered with.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the party in the region, has promised to enforce strictly all the COVID-19 preventive protocols at the electoral areas where voting would take place.
Mr. Sam Pyne, the Regional Secretary, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that there would be observance of social distancing and mandatory wearing of face masks.
Additionally, all the electoral areas would be provided with hand sanitizers and Veronica buckets for use by the delegates.