Assin North by-election: A unique showdown between ‘hometown rivals’

As the political landscape of Ghana continues to evolve, all eyes are now focused on an upcoming by-election set to take place in the Assin North Constituency.

This highly anticipated election has sparked a wave of excitement and anticipation among citizens and political enthusiasts alike.

With a vacant seat to be filled, the by-election is seen as a crucial moment that could potentially shape the future of the constituency and also tilt the balance of power in Ghana’s Parliament.

The by-election follows the orders of the Supreme Court ordering parliament to expunge James Gyaakye Quayson’s name from the records of parliament, creating an opportunity for a new representative to step into the role. Following that, the temperature of the constituency has risen to an all-time high.

The constituency, known for its diverse demographics and vibrant political engagement, has become a focal point for political discussions and campaigns.

The two major political parties have swiftly launched their campaigns and selected candidates to vie for the vacant seat. For the NDC, it is the deposed MP, James Gyakye Quayson, and for the governing NPP, it is Charles Opoku.

The by-election presents an opportunity for both seasoned politicians and emerging figures to showcase their capabilities and win the support of constituents. The constituency has been busy with projects and the frequent visitation of people who hitherto had not dreamt of stepping foot in there.

With candidates representing a range of ideologies and political platforms, the race is expected to be fiercely contested.

In the midst of that, the questions that arise are, “Will there be some sympathy votes for Joe Quayson?” “Will the margin of votes difference Joe Quayson beat Abena Duruwaa, the NPP’s candidate reduce or increase? Will Charles, the NPP’s candidate further deepen the woes of Joe Quayson by winning the contest?

Here are some statistics.

In the 2020 Parliamentary election, Joe Quayson secured 17,498 as against 14,193 by the NPP candidate, Abena Durowaa. The NPP candidate lost by a vote margin of 3305.

In the same 2020 elections, President Akufo-Addo secured 16,067 representing 50.81% while NDC’s John Mahama polled 15,014 representing 48.48%. This leaves a difference of 1053 votes.

The new subtlety that has surfaced in the contest is where the two candidates come from. The NPP’s candidate in the 2020 elections hailed from Assin Kushia and there are speculations that the Assin Breku NPP supporters had a bit of a challenge with her, and this resulted in ‘the skirt and blouse votes: voting for the Presidential candidate of the NPP and voting against the NPP’s parliamentary candidate.   

In the current development, Joe Gyaakye Quayson happens to come from Assin Breku, and the candidate the NPP has elected also comes from Assin Breku.

So, will this development change the narrative and the dynamics as far as this by-election is concerned?

While some argue that what Joe Gyakye Quayson has been through could potentially win him some sympathy votes, others argue that the NPP’s candidate, Charles Opoku, who schooled, lives in the constituency, and owns an NGO that has been working on some development projects in the constituency over the years, could do the magic by winning the seat.

Well, the next two weeks ahead of the elections will tell.

Speaking to residents of the Assin North Constituency, it is evident that the by-election holds great significance for the local community. Many residents see it as an opportunity to address specific issues that affect their everyday lives, such as infrastructure development, healthcare accessibility, education, and employment opportunities.

The by-election has given citizens a chance to voice their concerns and hold the candidates accountable for their promises.

Ahead of the by-election, political parties and candidates have adopted diverse campaign strategies to engage voters. From traditional door-to-door canvassing to vibrant rallies and town hall meetings, each candidate strives to connect with constituents and articulate their vision for the constituency.

Social media platforms have also become integral tools for candidates to reach a wider audience and foster dialogue with voters.

Although the by-election is confined to the Assin North Constituency, its outcomes have the potential to impact the national political landscape.

The results may influence the balance of power in the parliament and shape the strategies and policies of political parties. Thus, political analysts and observers from across Ghana are closely monitoring the developments in the constituency.

The upcoming by-election has captivated the attention of the nation, as citizens eagerly await the outcome that will determine their new representative.

The campaign fervor, local perspectives, and national implications surrounding this electoral event showcase the vibrancy and democratic spirit of Ghana’s political system.

As the constituents head to the polls on the 27th of June, 2023, the by-election represents a pivotal moment in shaping the future of Assin North and Ghana as a whole.

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