Today’s by-election: Kumawu precursor to 2024 polls?

Kumawu - rapid news gh

With four candidates on the ballot for today’s election in Kumawu, the straightforward matter of a parliamentary by-election for a seat that is generally regarded as safe for the in-power New Patriotic Party (NPP) has become a complicated one.

The NPP has held the Ashanti Region seat since 1996, but the good performance of a former party supporter who became an independent in 2020 has changed the dynamics in what has become to be a crucial battle for the NPP.

The candidate in question, Kwaku Duah, shares the same name as the other Independent candidate, a younger man who some political observers have said might just be a pawn in the senior candidate’s larger political game.

The NPP, whose member’s death prompted the by-election, cannot afford to let the seat pass because it only has the slightest numerical advantage in the two-party Parliament, where each parliamentary debate is precariously balanced between the NPP and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Kumawu

The stakes were so high that the police yesterday announced they had sent enough officers to Kumawu in preparation for the by-election today. Kumawu

“We wish to assure the people of the Kumawu Constituency to go about their normal activities freely, including going out to exercise their civic duty of casting their vote,” a statement issued and signed by Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Grace Ansah-Akrofi, Director of Public Affairs, said.

“We would like to urge the general public, especially the people of the Kumawu Constituency, to work with us to deliver a peaceful election and ensure the safety and security of all,” the statement added.

It said the police had already met with stakeholders, including the leadership of the NPP, the NDC and one of the Independent candidates, to enhance collaboration among all stakeholders and to ensure a peaceful election.

The other Independent candidate was not able to attend the meeting despite being invited.

The NPP seems to be more concerned with the senior Duah’s candidacy, who is represented by a bird on the ballot.

In the most recent parliamentary election in 2020, he broke with the party and ran as an independent, finishing second with 11,698 votes, or 39.96% of the total valid votes cast. The late Philip Basoah, the NPP’s candidate at the time, received 14,960 votes, or 51.11 percent. Kumawu

Bernard Opoku Marfo, the then-NDC candidate, finished third with 2,439 votes, or 8.33 percent, while Nana Amoako, the Ghana Union Movement (GUM) candidate, received 174 votes, or 0.59 percent.

President Akufo-Addo defeated John Mahama of the NDC in the presidential election with 23,502, or 80% of the legitimate votes cast.

Mahama received 5325 votes, or 18.28% of the total valid votes cast.


After touring every corner of the constituency to win over voters since last month, the NDC and the NPP over the weekend wrapped up their campaigns for today’s election.

Last Sunday, the NPP held a massive rally that included prominent names like President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Dr. Bawumia, thereby ending all political campaigning.

It came after the movement of prominent NDC and NPP figures last Saturday as Basoah’s relatives and friends attended his funeral.

The removal of James Gyakye Quayson, the MP for Assin South, has given the NDC the incentive to seize any available seats.

Must-win position

Even though the NPP has historically benefited from the constituency’s voting habits, the party is taking no chances.

The NPP effectively transferred its machinery to the constituency and set up a command center in the home of the constituency chairman even before the primary to choose a candidate to run in the by-election. Kumawu

A victory for the NPP would be seen as a vote of confidence in the government’s leadership in addition to ensuring that the party maintains its small majority in Parliament. It would also act as a catalyst for the impending general election in December 2024. Kumawu

Speaking to party members last Sunday, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, the majority leader in parliament and the member for Suame, acknowledged that the narrow margin of support the party enjoys in the chamber was impeding work. As a result, voters needed to make sure that the NPP won the seat.


Despite the NDC’s lackluster performance in the constituency’s previous elections, Kwasi Amankwa, the party’s candidate, is confident that he would pull off a surprise.

By the end of today’s voting, he is confident that the party will win because of supernatural powers at work.

He claimed that the party had worked very hard to win the seat as well as to strengthen its support in the district.

The NDC’s presidential candidate, former President John Dramani Mahama, visited the district last Friday to support his campaign. He and his entourage called on the MP’s family to express their condolences.

Some people saw today’s election as a virtual referendum on the NPP’s leadership during the next eight years.


Some voters may be concerned due to the two Independent candidates’ usage of the same name in the by-election.
Aside from sharing the same name, both candidates were wearing nearly identical kente cloths and utilizing the same symbols on the front of their posters up until last Sunday.

The second Kwaku Duah, who entered the race at the last minute, was originally represented by a dove, but the Electoral Commission altered it to a hoe. Kumawu

The EC claims that despite the commission’s inquiries into the resemblance of their insignia and requests for him to alter them, he refused, leading the EC to act on his behalf because the legislation permitted it.


In order to confuse his fans, Kwaku Duah, who ran for the first time in the most recent parliamentary election, has accused the members of his former party of financing a member of his own family to run against him.

He has vowed to remain impartial after winning and has refused to support any political party.

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