Mrs Evelyn Akantoa, a National Democratic Congress (NDC) aspiring parliamentary candidate for Sunyani West, has withdrawn from the contest citing a directive by the party’s regional election committee that she was ineligible to contest.
Announcing this at a press conference in Sunyani, she, however, urged her supporters to continue to offer their unwavering support for the party’s victory in Election 2024.
Mrs Akantoa said she had accordingly told her lawyer to discontinue a case pending at a High Court in Sunyani against the NDC and Ms Millicent Yeboah Amankwah, another aspirant “without liberty to reapply.”
The case was about her alleged ineligibility to contest by the party’s regional election committee that consequently put the constituency’s parliamentary primaries on hold since May, this year, when the entire regional parliamentary primaries were held.
“The circumstances surrounding the contest were detrimental to the party’s progress at this crucial moment,” she said.
It would be recalled that Mrs Akantoa filed her nomination for the constituency’s primary when nominations were opened from February 22-24, 2023, but a petition was presented against her eligibility, which led to the referral of the matter to the Functional Executive Committee (FEC) of the party for resolution.
She said she was a qualified and active member of the NDC and had satisfied all requirements and fulfilled other necessary obligations to participate in the primary.
Mrs Akantoa explained that her team was dissatisfied with the outcome of a meeting with the FEC, and consequently decided to seek justice at a court of law after exhausting all internal avenues of redress within the Party.
She said she was disappointed with Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the National Chairman, for disregarding the court’s order to impose a candidate on the party, saying that action violated the established procedures for selecting a parliamentary candidate.
She said that was a disregard for the rule of law, especially while the court case was pending, which amounted to contempt of court.
Meanwhile some delegates in the constituency had expressed disappointment at Mrs Akantoa’s decision not to contest.
In an interview with Nana Anini, a delegate representing the Tanoakye Electoral Area at Chiraa in the constituency, said he was opposed to the decision, adding: “We feel humiliated by that decision and we are hesitant to vote for the party in the 2024 general election”.
Similarly, Cynthia Sarpomaa of the Yentresu Adonteng Electoral Area at Nsoatre questioned the criteria employed by the National Chairman to select a parliamentary candidate saying it was “an insult to their integrity.”
She called for an apology to foster peace within the party in the constituency.