Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, Western Regional Minister and incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the Takoradi Constituency has been retained as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate for the Takoradi Constituency in the December elections.
At the end of proceedings, Mr. Okyere Darko-Mensah garnered 341 votes representing 63.7 per cent out of a total votes cast of 537 to retain his candidature for the Constituency, whereas his contender Jane Edna Nyame polled 196 votes representing 36.49 per cent of the total votes.
The MP who was a Deputy Minister for Aviation before his appointment as the Regional Minister, has occupied the seat through three elections and is believed to have the support of the Party elders in the Constituency. He is said to have built an office complex for the Party.
The Takoradi Constituency is one of the domineering and secured seats for the NPP in the Western Region and has always been falling for the NPP since its creation.
It began with the late Madam Gladys Asmah, who became the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture under President Kufuor’s tenure. She occupied it for three times and retired due to her age and health.
However, Mr. Darko-Mensah will have to work extra hard to garner more votes since the Presidential candidate had been getting more votes than the parliamentary candidate in the Constituency even though he was the best MP elected in the Region for the 2016 parliamentary elections.
For instance, in the 2008 elections, the parliamentary candidate had 22,704 (58.9 per cent) while Nana Addo had 23,349 (62.35 per cent) and 24,461 (62.96 per cent) in the run-off.
In the 2012 general elections, the presidential candidate garnered 25,760 (60.55 per cent) while the parliamentary candidate had 25,958 (61.04 per cent) being the only time the parliamentary candidate’s votes went up over the presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, in the 2016 general elections, the presidential candidate had 27,350 (69.80 per cent) with that of the parliamentary candidate as 27,169 (69.42 per cent).
This is expected to go further down due to the fact that many people have relocated from the Constituency. For instance, most of the electorates in the Constituency have moved outside the Constituency as noticed during the 2019 District Level Elections, while others have given up voting with reasons best known to them.
Prior to the primaries, which some political pundits believed was going to be one of the crucial contests in the history of the Constituency considering the caliber of persons gearing up for the race, three (3) other persons filed their nominations to contest for the Constituency.
They include Mr. Frederick Kakraba Sam, a businessman based in the UK and a former Teaching Assistant at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), Mr. Frank Oduro, Freight Forwarder at the Tema Port and Madam Edna Nyame, Acting Head of Library at the Takoradi Technical University (TTU).
Mr. Darko-Mensah’s closest contender was Mr. Frederick Kakraba Sam who was known to be tactical and a “grassroot boy” believed to have the backing of some National Executives but suffered disqualification on alleged fraud, assault and other disturbing petitions.
Mr. Frank Oduro, coming from a popular community, New Takoradi was tipped to win the hearts of delegates for proximity but also suffered disqualification from petitions on alleged false pretence and misrepresentation.
For Madam Edna Nyame, chances were that she was going to attract the sympathy of delegates as this was her fourth time in the primaries.