A FORMER Ashanti Regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Fredrick Fredua Anto, bounced back to his former position when he defeated the incumbent, Mr Robert Owusu Amankwa, at the regional delegates conference in Kumasi yesterday.
Mr Anto, who was the party’s regional chairman for eight years, stepped down during the last regional delegates conference in 2005, which was won by Mr Amankwaa.
In an election which followed months of acrimonious campaigning and legal battles, Mr Anto polled 449 votes as against 267 by Mr Amankwa.
Many of the old executive who contested also lost their positions.
Mrs Mary Brobbey, the incumbent Regional Women's Organiser, lost to Ms Alberta Owusu Ansah while the Regional Organiser, Mr Ben Abdallah, who contested with three others, also lost to Mr Kennedy Kankam.
Other officers elected were Alhaji Musah Sherif, First Vice-Chairman; Mr Kwabena Nsenkyire, Second-Vice Chairman; Mr Sam Payne, Regional Secretary; Mr Kwame Asamoa Boateng, Assistant Secretary; Ms Hagar Asante, Treasurer; Mr Gideon Boako, Youth Organiser, and Alhaji Musa Zigi, Nasara Chairman.
The election, supervised by the Electoral Commission, was peaceful and the large number of police personnel drawn to Dwabrem of the Centre for National Culture where it was held had little work to do.
Many leading party members witnessed the election but conspicuously absent were Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr Alan Kyerematen, who were expected to be present.
A party source told the Daily Graphic that the two men decided to stay behind in order not to take the beauty out of the conference.
The perceived Alan/Akufo-Addo dichotomy was not visible at the conference but some delegates and party supporters discussed how the election of the new officers were going to affect the fortunes of the two flag bearer aspirants.
In a speech after the congress, Mr Anto thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him and said he would work hard to bring unity into the party to improve on their electoral performance in the region, come 2012.
Conceding defeat, Mr Amankwa pledged to continue to work for the party even outside the regional executive.