Parliamentary elections in 2012 could be keenly contested if the names of bigwigs emerging as potential candidates actually decide to run.

New Patriotic Party (NPP) activists, Ursula Owusu, Frances Asiam and Kweku Kwarteng have already announced their intentions to run for the elections.

Rumours are rife that the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Otchere Darko and a member of the NPP is testing his popularity for the New Juabeng South seat.

In the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Deputy Information Minister, Okudzeto Ablakwa is reportedly eying the North Tongu parliamentary seat whilst others like Fiifi Kwetey, a deputy Finance Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, deputy Local Government Minister and Koku Anyidoho, Director of Communication at the Presidency have also been mentioned as possible parliamentary candidates.

But election watcher and pollster Ben Ephson believes government officials mentioned in the list are not just testing the waters but are “making quiet moves” as the ruling party has not set its guidelines for parliamentary elections yet.

Speaking to Joy FM on Tuesday Mr. Ephson revealed that unlike government officials, the NPP members who are nursing the ambition to capture certain seats are working openly to secure the party’s ticket for their respective constituencies.

He said “for those in the NPP, some of them have been doing open campaigns and if you realize… quite a number of the targets are hot seats; some are safe seats”.

He however warns that such intense competition for the various seats could lead to apathy on both sides of the political divide which could consequently result in defeat in the general elections.

Mr. Ephson stated that the participation of government officials in the parliamentary primaries could have negative repercussions on the ruling government as it will breed jealousy among the incumbent MPs who might feel aggrieved that their colleagues are trying to usurp their positions unfairly.

Source: Joy News/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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