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The polls did not fall short of expectation and indeed, the Asawase NDC primaries became the centre of attention.

The event was characterised with apprehension, suspense, fun, and pocket of violence.

OnuaOnline’s Ibrahim Abubakar chronicles the good and the bad during the entire voting process Saturday, May 13, 2023.

It was the first time in eight years that the NDC parliamentary primaries was held in Asawase since the incumbent, Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka had gone unopposed in the last two primaries.

“Everyone is looking at Asawase, I can tell Ghanaians that Asawase is going to be peaceful. Anyone who emerges a winner, we are going to support him to retain our seat. Asawase is for NDC”, Ashanti regional NDC Chairman, Augustus Nana Akwasi said before the voting.

Augustus Nana Akwasi is
Ashanti regional Chairman of the NDC

As early as 6am, some delegates had arrived at the voting centre, anxiously waiting to cast their ballot and elect a parliamentary candidate for 2024.

No one wanted to be left out of this activity – not even those in wheelchair and the aged.

The crowd at the entrance of the Kumasi Central Mosque; venue of the voting, was overwhelming – most of whom were there just to witness the event.

As expected, heavy security was deployed to the voting venue to ensure the process is observed and discharged in a peaceful manner.

However, not even the presence of the security scared them off.

Supporters of the incumbent MP, Muntaka Mubarak, and his contender, Masawudu Mubarick clashed.

Stones were pelted at each other getting one person injured in the process with another collapsing.

It was the timely intervention of the anti-robbery unit of the Ghana Police Service salvaged the situation.

Voting was expected to commence at 7am but ended up starting at 11.30am due to delays in the arrival of materials.

Soon, there was chaos. Some delegates were going contrary to the electoral laws by displaying their secret ballot to the public.

EC officials warned them to stop, but some were adamant.

At about 3pm, heavy rains halted the elections but voting resumed 30 minutes later.

The two aspirants were greeted with a rousing welcome by their supporters when they arrived at the voting grounds.

Whilst some chanting ‘we want change’, others were saying ‘still maintain’.

The incumbent was sure of being retained.

Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka is MP for Asawase

“I have been a distinguished parliamentarian. I’ve distinguished myself in Kumasi, Ashanti region, and within the NDC. You want to change from better to worse? I know u have dedicated and served my party. I have served my country. I have served my party. And I know the people will reward me”, Muntaka Mohammed Mubarak told the media shortly after casting his ballot.

At about 7.30pm, Masawudu returned to vote, but that was met with fierce resistance by the camp of Muntaka. Polls had closed at that time.

This led to another confusion and supporters of both aspirants clashed again.

Eventually, Masawudu had to be whisked away from the voting centre by the police and his bodyguards.

Masawudu Mubarick being whisked away by the police

After hours of sorting and counting, the result was declared around 10.30pm.

Muntaka Mubarak polled 1,063 votes with Masawudu Mubarick, garnering 735 votes. The Asawase delegates have spoken and loudly too.

Muntaka emerges victorious

The former Minority Chief Whip may have been retained, but the road has certainly not been an easy one.

The next step for the NDC in Asawase will be how to unite itself ahead of the 2024 elections, especially when the constituency Chairman was the one leading the campaign to unseat the incumbent Member of Parliament.

By Ibrahim Abubakar|AkomaFM|