A group within the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Kpando Constituency in the Volta Region is calling on former President John Dramani Mahama and the NDC’s National Executive Committee (NEC)) to immediately put in measures to avoid “skirt and blouse” voting in the constituency in the 2024 general elections.
The group says it was “skirt and blouse voting”, with the support of some executive members of the party in the nearby Hohoe Constituency that caused the loss of the parliamentary seat from the NDC to the ruling New Patriotic Party in the 2020 general elections.
Mr Stephen Tarah, a member of the group calling itself Concerned Supporters and Citizens of the NDC in the Kpando Constituency, in a telephone interview with journalists said, “skirt and blouse” voting in Hohoe in the 2020 general elections should not be repeated, in the Kpando Constituency.
“Many would not know that the Hohoe agenda for Peter Amewu was similar in form and shape to what pertains in Kpando,” Mr Tarah said and added that most of the branch executives shifted camp and worked for Peter Amewu, the current NPP MP for the Hohoe Constituency
According to Mr Tarah, “this left the NDC candidate in the person of Prof. Kweku vulnerable.
“And the same held sway in Kpando; unfortunately the Kpando Margaret Thatcher in the person of Della Sowah was too strong for the men and their Machiavelli machinations. She was always a step ahead of the Egyptians that wanted her to fall.
“The parliamentary primaries undoubtedly brought deep cracks within Kpando which continue to deepen day by day.
Mr Tarah said an investigation by some fact-finding mission to Kpando revealed some executives preached “skirt and blouse” in Kpando, akin to what he called “the Hohoe debacle.”
He reviewed the performance of the parliamentary candidates in the Kpando Constituency of which he said the results were telling.
The figures, he recalled were: Hon Sowah (NDC): 13,582- 49.46%; Samuel (Ind.1)-8,221 -29.94%; Isaac (Ind.2) 2,867- 10.44%; and Theophilus (NPP)- 2,792- 10.17%. The independent candidate in the person of Samuel who garnered 29.94% of the votes cast was the one that was aided by some of the party machinery.
“From the analysis, and in comparison to the 2016 results where she got 82.38%, it is obvious that in 2020 had some branch executives not openly through their support for the independent candidate, the votes of Samuel would have been lower,” Mr Tarah said.
He described the situation as a “sad case.”
“Sometimes resources given by the MP and the party to aid campaign in Kpando were channelled to support the independent candidate to the disadvantage of the parliamentary candidate.
“The NDC frowns on skirt and blouse. “If we saw this to be an offence in Hohoe and we are calling for punitive action against executives who aided Peter Amewu, the same must be done for Kpando. Those calling foul to the application of this rule must know they do not have the party at heart and must be called and shamed.
Mr Tarah said the NDC is a democratic party and nothing prevents persons who qualify to contest the parliamentary primaries from contesting.
“Hon. Della Sowah cannot prevent anyone from contesting and no one can also prevent her from contesting the parliamentary seat,” Mr Tarah emphasized, adding that, “the parliamentary primary determines who should represent the party on the NDC ticket in Kpando. So long as she keeps beating the men at the primary to their own game, she will be the one to represent the party.”
To Mr Tarah, the “NDC party appears weak in Kpando because some branch executives worked for the independent candidate and the key stakeholders in Kpando kept scheming against each other using their support base.”
He added that peace could only return to Kpando when the elders of Kpando smoke the peace pipe.
“When this is done genuinely their followers will fall in line. Until then the machinations in Kpando will continue.”