A Freight Forwarder, Mr Desmond Degraft Paitoo, last Saturday won the re-run of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary primary in the Gomoa East Constituency in the Central Region.
The primary, which was keenly contested, was between Mr Degraft Paitoo and his challenger, Mr Abraham Bright Bruce Amissah.
He polled 406 votes to defeat his opponent who secured 362 votes in the election which was largely peaceful.
Two votes were rejected and the total valid votes cast was 770.
The election was attended by both national and regional executives, including Ms Abigail Elorm Mensah, a deputy national women organiser, Mr Ebenezer K.T. Addo, the Central Regional Chairman, and other regional executives of the party.
Mr Degraft Paitoo and Mr Bruce Amissah each polled 277 votes in the first primary held on Saturday, August 24, 2019.
In the first election, three other candidates contested the primary.
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The three, Messrs Ato Quartey, Michael Buabeng and Margaret Naana Ackom, secured 138, 24 and 66 votes respectively.
The battle line was therefore drawn between the two who stepped up their campaign in the run up to the re-run to win the confidence of the delegates, who were expected to cast their vote to elect a suitable candidate to represent the NDC in the 2020 election.
First election controversy
Interestingly, at the end of the first round of counting in the first election by officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) who supervised the election, held at the forecourt of the Nyanyano Police Station, Mr Bruce Amissah had 278 votes to beat Mr Degraft Paitoo, his closest contender, who polled 277 votes.
However, Mr Degraft Paitoo together with his agent, called for a recount of the ballots of Mr Bruce-Amissah since he suspected that the ballots of his contender were not counted properly which was agreed to by all the interested parties.
After a recount of the votes, it emerged that Bruce Amissah’s total valid votes was rather 277 and not 278, resulting in a tie between the two which paved the way for a re-run of the primary.
Candidates pledge commitment
Before the counting of the votes, both candidates were given the opportunity to address the party supporters to pledge to accept the outcome of the re-run and work to wrest the parliamentary seat from Mr Kojo Asemanyi who is occupying the seat on the ticket of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
They called on their followers to accept the outcome of the primary and forge ahead in unity to make the NDC more attractive to the electorate to enhance its chances of recapturing power in 2020.
They further admonished them to put the election behind them and rally behind whoever would be elected as the party’s parliamentary candidate so as to prosecute an affective and well-coordinated campaign that would enable the NDC to win the trust of the majority of the voters.