New Juaben South NPP needs an MP who brings floating votes [Opinion]


Winning elections as I have grown to understand the intricacies of polls is about massive numbers. Can we say same about NPP New Juaben South Constituency?

New Juaben South Constituency in the Eastern region hitherto known as Koforidua constituency in 1996 had a formidable Parliamentary candidate in the person of Yaw Barimah, who was able to poll more votes than then Presidential candidate John Agyekum Kufuor.

In the 1996 elections, Hon. Barima polled 26,025 votes as against 25,354 votes of Kufuor. This suggests Barima played a critical role in canvassing for votes in the constituency for the Party.

His popularity in the constituency among the floating voters dwindled in the 2000 and 2004 elections viz as viz the presidential candidate Kufuor.

Barima garnered 26,884 votes as against 28,232 of the presidential candidate in the 2000 polls. In effect, the parliamentary candidate didn’t bring anything exceptional onboard but relied on the Presidential candidate to enter Parliament again.

Same as 2004 when Barima garnered 32,467 votes against 34,246 for the presidential candidate

The output of Barima was abysmal in terms of votes.

There was a change of Candidate which brought Beatrice Boateng in 2008, who did extremely well and helped the Presidential candidate.

She polled 34,409 votes in the general election while candidate Akufo-Addo had 32,338. It means she got floating votes and didn’t only rely on NPP votes. She broke that jinx.

In 2012, there came a change all wanted, Dr. Assibey Yeboah was touted as the Intelligentsia and aficionado who was going to continue the tradition and even do better than Boateng in terms of outperforming the presidential candidate alas, it was a nightmare. We went back to the bad tradition of a parliamentary candidate performing below par compared to the presidential candidate.

In 2012, Assibey- Yeboah garnered 38,030 votes which were less than the 38,807 votes candidate Akufo-Addo garnered.

We gave Assibey-Yeboah the benefit of doubt, so brought him back in 2016 when the wind of change was blowing and with his self-acclaimed credentials in Parliament (Parliament will collapse if I leave there) he did it again by performing poorly than the Presidential candidate. He garnered 40,440 while Candidate Akufo-Addo bagged 40, 758 votes.

Let this be on record that Assibey-Yeboah is the only NPP Parliamentary Candidate in the whole of New Juaben (North and South) who has never garnered higher votes than NPP Presidential candidate.

New Juaben South Constituency is a stronghold of the New Patriotic Party and any candidate we present will win the Parliament seat, let me ask; is it just the Parliamentary seat that we want or someone who will bring floating votes to propel the party’s presidential candidate to a one-touch victory?

We don’t need someone who will rely on the party votes which is constant. We need a Parliamentary candidate who is affable and will bring votes.

Parliamentary candidates are to make the grounds fertile for the Presidential candidates by mobilising voters. It should not be vice versa where a Parliamentary candidate relies heavily on a Presidential candidate for votes.

2020 is crucial and as NPP we will need candidates who will bring home the floating votes and not candidates who will rely on the votes from the Presidential candidate. We need candidates who rather bring votes to the Presidential candidate.

By Yaw Boateng of Betom

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