Three parliamentary aspirants who appeared before the vetting committee in the ongoing exercise of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Central Region had their dreams dashed when they were disqualified for not satisfying the requirement of the party’s constitution.
They are Ms Doreen Manieson who filed for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA), Mr Daniel Ohene Darko, Upper Denkyira, and Mr Henry Botsie Ghartey of Efutu.
The remaining 65 aspirants have been cleared for the main battle scheduled for November 7, this year.
Briefing the Daily Graphic at the party’s office in Cape Coast Thursday, the Central Regional Director of elections, Mr Yaw Asiedu, said the disqualified persons had contravened Article 8 of the party’s constitution which made it mandatory, among others, for aspirants to have been active members of the party not less than four years preceding the primaries.
That, he said, was known to all those who nurtured the dream of becoming members of parliament on the ticket of the ndc. He used the occasion to appeal to the cleared aspirants to conduct their campaign with decorum since “what is ahead of us is mightier than the internal competition”.
Meanwhile, the disqualification of Ms Manieson, from contesting the KEEA primary, has left two aspirants eligible to contest that position. They are Mr Samuel Atta Mills, the younger brother of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, and Mr Francis Oscar Asmah.
Mr Atta Mills filed his nomination recently at a short ceremony characterised by a live band and merrymaking by scores of party faithful and sympathisers throughout the Elmina fishing community before gathering at the Chapel Square for the ceremony.
In the midst of the euphoria, the Daily Graphic, required to know from the 59-year-old entrepreneur who spent 35 years working in the United States of America (USA), and also devoted a considerable length of time working with his brother, what motivated him to file nominations for that position.
The soft-spoken, but determined aspirant said, “The development of our constituency and country is a collaborative and collective responsibility of all of us. Not for any individual or group of people.
Quoting Martin Luther King to buttress his conviction, Mr Atta Mills said, “There comes a time to make a decision to get into politics not because it is safe, but your conscience pushes you to do something for the masses.”
Besides, he noted that “I want to avail myself for the service of my people and bring development to the doorsteps of our people.”
Mr Atta Mills, who interspersed his interview with quotes from one philosopher or another, quoted the great Greek Philosopher, Pluto, as saying: “When you refuse to get involved in politics, you will get ruled by inferiors in society.”
He further stressed the need for the collective responsibility of all in the nation’s development efforts, saying “as Obama said, we are always looking around for other people to come and make a change in the society, but we are the change,” stressing “this is the time we have to put our hands on the plough.”
The seat is currently held by Dr Nana Ato Arthur of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Following the wrangling and animosity in the KEEA, the NDC, prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections, compelled Dr Ato Quarshie, a former NDC parliamentarian for the area and minister, to contest as an independent candidate. The NDC was represented by Dr J.S. Annan, the incumbent, who lost the seat to Nana Ato Arthur.
On what he was bringing on board, Mr Atta Mills said all the political bickering, wrangling and animosity were as a result of misunderstanding, saying that “mine is to bring peace and unity and that will culminate into development.”