Assin North: could Gyakye Quayson’s victory be NDC’s doom?

Estimated read time 5 min read

On Tuesday after the close of polls at Assin North, the National Democratic Congress had secured a massive victory over the ruling NPP, and justice has been served according to many observers and sympathizers of the embattled lawmaker. But this victory could be the beginning of the end for the NDC and here is why…

Assin North is primarily a swing constituency and since 1992 has produced alternating results for both parties. Apart from the first election in 1992 when Francis K. Edzii won the seat for the now-defunct NCP, it has been an NDC/NPP affair. It was initially one with Assin Central which was carved out ahead of the 2012 elections. And he had won three consecutive elections in the area making it the home of the NPP.

However, since his exit in 2012 to contest the Assin Central seat, the NDC won the first and then the NPP before the NDC reclaimed it through Gyakye Quayson which prompted a court action by a constituent. The MP was never given time to settle in parliament and was in and out of court until he was finally ousted by the courts and the Supreme Court then asked that his details be expunged from parliament’s documents.

It was a great political risk and a well-calculated strategy for the NDC to present him for the by-election. But even with that nothing was assured as the nation had witnessed the ruling NPP virtually buy voters over at Kumawu with late road projects, t-shirts and allegedly, cash. However, Assin North gave NDC one card they did not have at Kumawu, sympathy. Kumawu also was a dearly NPP stronghold as compared to the swing Assin North so the NDC had it all to play for, the same as the NPP.

Late projects, trooping in of party bigwigs including the President who asked them to vote for a free man, not one who will spend his time in prison. That was too early and ungracious of the number one gentleman of the country who should know that the case was pending before the courts so he had no reason whatsoever to make that declaration.

However, that goof by the president also presented an opportunity for the NDC as more people felt they needed to ensure Gyakye returns to parliament to serve as justice for the man who has been haunted for stepping out to serve his people. The people hailed Gyakye and called him their “messiah” and said he was been crucified for coming to serve his people so they owe gratitude to him for forcing the government to come and start projects in the area.

All these played in the direction and favour of the NDC plus the wish by many Ghanaians to maintain the hung parliament which means Quayson’s presence would be the key to maintaining that balance. It is believed it will help the NDC to stop the NPP from hoodwinking some policies and bills down the throats of Ghanaians especially after the tough IMF conditions were revealed.

So Gyakye Quayson’s victory became a victory for the nation and not just NDC. That notion saw many neutrals trumpet for him to be elected. Mr Quayson too had a message not by words but by his suffering at the hands of the Attorney General who represents the government in court. People felt his continued prosecution was an issue of witch-hunting, not justice. The message got to the people well and that was evident in the hours after the close of polls.

Money freely changed hands at Assin North on 27 June but this time the people were decided so they took the money and still followed their conscience. For the first time, the Ghanaian electorate made a statement that projects at the late hour, money and flamboyant promises were not important to them, Gyakye was their choice. They wanted to stand with their persecuted leader, brother, father, uncle, friend and neighbour. And they did by delivering victory.

No one can take the efforts of the NDC leadership and team at Assin North away. They contributed so much to the victory and were very proactive and for the first time, had really working collation process which even left the NPP dazed. That swiftness, proactiveness and vigilance were what confirmed that they probably have learned from their past and were ready for the future.

But let it not be taken that the NDC solely got through using their smartness or a strong electoral muscle to beat the NPP. The NDC team should be credited but they should acknowledge that the presence of Gyakye Quayson gave them an urge due to sympathy or empathy or whatever you decide to call it. People wanted to deliver justice and they felt that was the only way to do it.

So as the NDC bask in their glory at Assin North, they should be conscious that victory was delivered on the lines of justice but that won’t be the case in 2024 and they must prepare and be ready for it. The defeat also serves as a wake-up call to the NPP and they will be well prepared for what is next. That means the NDC cannot rest too long on the laurels of Assin North but must step up and go even further in their preparation if they want to have a chance in 2024.

Until then…God Bless the Motherland!

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