Forty-nine members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have successfully picked nomination forms to contest the upcoming parliamentary primaries in 13 out of the 15 constituencies in the Upper East Region.
The party has put on hold the primaries in Pusiga and Binduri constituencies per a letter issued by the NDC General Secretary, Fifi Fiavi Kwettey.
Currently, the NDC occupies 14 out of the 15 parliamentary seats in the region. Although the party won the presidential election in the Binduri constituency, it lost the parliamentary seat to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) due to internal wrangling.
Out of the 13 constituencies, two incumbent Members of Parliament (MP) — Cletus Avoka, MP for Zebilla, and Benson Tongo Baba, MP for Talensi, did not pick nomination forms to seek re-election.
The MP for Builsa South, Dr Clement Apaak, and the MP for Tempane, Akanvariba Lydia Lamisi, are the only incumbent MPs going unopposed as no party member picked nomination forms to contest either of them at the close of nomination.
In the Builsa North Constituency, incumbent MP James Agalga is being contested by Awog-Badek Simon.
The MP for Navrongo Central, Sampson Tangombu Chiragia, will slug it out with four other party stalwarts. The other contenders are Simon Akibange Aworigo, Stanislaus Alu Kadingdi, Pius Ayemva Avio and Dr Jacob Paarechuga Anankware.
Four persons will battle it out in the Chiana-Paga constituency. They are Dalu Thomas Addah (incumbent), Raphael Aopaari Alijina, Francis Atayure Abirigo and Nikyema Billa Alamzy.
In the Bolgatanga Central constituency, outspoken MP Isaac Adongo, who many thought will go unopposed, is being challenged by one Thomas Clarkson Akurugu while MP for Bolgatanga East, Dr Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, is being contested by Dr Emmanuel Abeere-Inga.
Five persons, including the incumbent, are lacing their boots to contest the parliamentary primary in the Bongo constituency. Edward Abambire Bawa (incumbent) will face off with a former Upper East Regional Minister, Professor Avea Ephriam Nsoh, Dr Rainer Akumperigya, Wahabu Mohammed, Charles Bawaduah and Amos Atanga Atia.
It is a three-horse race in the Nabdam constituency as the incumbent MP faces stiff competition from two others. The aspirants are Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane (incumbent), Francis Sampana Zuure and a private legal practitioner, Lamtiig Abugri Apanga.
The parliamentary primary in the Bawku Central constituency is a battle between the incumbent, Mahama Ayariga, and three others namely, Alhassan Akologo Amadu, Ustarz Jibreel Sa-ad and Theo Braimah Awanzam.
In the Garu constituency, the contest is between Albert Akuka Alaalzuuga (incumbent), Mbawini George Akudugu and Dr Thomas Winsum Anabah.
Highest number of aspirants
In the entire region, Zebilla and Talensi constituencies produced the highest number of aspirants in the upcoming primaries. Whereas seven persons are contesting in the Zebilla constituency, nine persons have picked nomination forms to contest in the Talensi constituency.