The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) says one of the things that went against them in the just-ended Assin North by-election was the fact that they had limited time to market their candidate, Charles Opoku.
The NDC’s James Gyakye Quayson polled over 17,245 representing 57.56% of the votes, while the NPP’s Charles Opoku managed 12,630 or 42.15% of the valid votes cast.
The General Secretary of the NPP, Justin Kodua Frimpong, says unlike the NDC, his party had a limited time in propagating their message to the electorate.
Speaking to JoyNews, he said “as a party, we did not have enough time. We had to go and quickly hold our primaries to elect our candidate, and yes Charles Opoku was elected within the shortest possible time.”
“We could not get the time to market him very well. It’s true, the time was very short against a candidate who had won elections in 2020.”
He explained that Mr Quayson was popular and already had a stronger support base in the constituency, and so if the party wanted to win the seat, there should have been enough time to market their candidate.
“This is someone who won the seat from us in 2020, and until the supreme court made a pronouncement that he could not hold him as a Member of Parliament, he was a Member of Parliament for the constituency, so he was definitely popular,” he said.
“In terms of reality in terms of what happened at Assin North, you can concede that there was an element of sympathy that went his way,” he added.
Mr Frimpong explained that the constituents felt their MP had been treated unfairly hence the need to re-elect him into the office to fulfill the promises made to them.
He, however, says vital lessons would be gleaned from the election for a stronger comeback in 2024.
However, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana says the discerning nature of the electorates in Assin North came to play in the by-election.
Prof Ransford Gyampo noted that the governing party seemed to have underestimated the voters’ capacity to interpret hidden meanings and intentions behind some strategies implemented.
Prof Gyampo further noted that the residents comprehended the motives behind the sudden surge in developmental projects and the attempts at vote buying.
As a result, the lecturer believes they chose to “teach them [NPP] a lesson” by voting for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, James Gyakye Quayson.