A total of 87 aspirants have filed their nominations to contest the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primaries in the three northern regions.
The regions are the Northern Region and the two newly created regions of Savannah and North East which were carved out of the Northern Region.
Until the creation of the Savannah and the North East regions, the existing Northern Region had 31 constituencies but now has 18 while the Savannah and the North East regions have seven and six constituencies, respectively.
At the close of the filing of nominations for the NDC’s parliamentary primaries on July 12, 2019, a total of 50 people, excluding that of Bimbilla and Kpandai constituencies, have filed their nominations to contest in 16 out of the 18 constituencies in the Northern Region.
In the Savannah Region a total of 16 people had filed their nominations to contest in the seven constituencies while in the North East Region 21 people have submitted their nominations forms to contest in five of the constituencies excluding Chereponi.
The elections will go ahead in 16 out of the 18 constituencies in the Northern region and five out of the six constituencies in the North East Region on August 24, 2019, except Bimbilla and Kpandai in the Northern Region and Chereponi in the North East Region where the party has put the primaries on hold to elect parliamentary candidates to contest on the party’s ticket in the 2020 general elections.
The decision to put on hold the parliamentary primaries in the three constituencies is to conduct the elections progressively, according to the National Executive Committee of the party in a statement issued by the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketia.
It appealed to those, who have filed to contest in the affected constituencies to exercise restraint.
The Minority Leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, and the MP for Karaga, Alhassan Sualihu Dandaawa, are the two sitting MPs in the Northern Region who are going unopposed and has nobody filing to contest them at the close of nominations and also in the Yendi constituency where one parson, in the name of Alhassan Abdul-Fataw, has filed to contest making him the sole contestant.
The sitting MPs who are going unopposed in the Savannah Region are Mr John Abdulai Jinapor, MP for Yapei-Kusawgu, Mr Andrew Dari Chiwitey, Sawla-Tuna-Kalba and Alhaji Sulemana Yussif for the Bole-Bamboi constituency.
Constituencies with the highest number of aspirants
The Nanton constituency in the Northern Region, which has a total of seven people filing to contest the parliamentary primaries which the NDC lost in the 2016 general elections to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has the highest number of aspirants followed by Tolon and Savelugu constituencies which are having six aspirants each.
Five people have also filed to contest the parliamentary primaries in the Salaga South constituency in the Savannah Region where the NDC lost the seat to the ruling NPP in the 2016 elections.
Eight persons also submitted their nominations to contest the parliamentary primary in the Bunkprugu constituency in the North East Region
Sitting MPs who are being contested
The sitting MPs in the Northern Region, who are being contested are Mr Alhassan Sayibe Suhuyini, MP for Tamale North; Alhaji A.B.A Fuseini, MP for Sagnarigu; Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu; Alhaji Alhassan Umar, MP for Zabzugu and Mohammed Aziz, MP for Mion .
For the Savannah Region, the sitting MPs, who are being contested, are Adam Mutawakilu, MP for Damongo; Shaibu Mahama, MP for Daboya-Mankragu, and Alhaji Alhassan Mumui, MP for Salaga North
For the North East Region, the sitting MP for Yunyoo, Joseph Bipoba Naabu, has five others filing to contest him and Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul-Rauf Tanko, the incumbent MP for Yagaba-Kubori, is being contested by two others.
The only sitting NDC MP who is not going for re-election in the party’s parliamentary primaries in the Northern Region is the MP for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini.
Three persons have filed to succeed him (Alhaji Fuseini) for the Tamale Central constituency .
They are Mr Abdul Hanan Gundadow, the former Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tamale, Mr Ibrahim Murtala, a former MP for Nanton and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, and Alhaji Alhassan Adam, a banker.