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A scuffle  between some supporters of the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East, Hon Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh and a rival independent parliamentary candidate, Ambassador George Kumi resulted in the cancellation of a  debate for parliamentary candidates in Sunyani.

A private bodyguard of Mr. George Kumi is reported to have disrupted a debate organized by National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) for Parliamentary Candidates contesting for the Sunyani East seat.

All the candidates had entered the Wesley Methodist Cathedral hall with their supporters, together with some heads of Institutions, Traditional and Religious Leaders, among other groups.

Reports say that shortly before the debate could begin,  the campaign chairman of the Independent Candidate, Mr. James Oppong Asare allegedly rushed to the NPP's Communication Director of the Sunyani East, Maxwell Mahama,  and threatened to make  his  stay in Sunyani a hell,following some comments the latter had passed on Mr Kumi.

The Communication Director of the NPP ,however, reacted which  escalated into a heated verbal attacks and counter-attacks, resulting in a chaos between the two factions.

The exchange of words among supporters of the two groups continued even after they had been calmed down outside the auditorium.

The body guard for the former ambassador, George Kumi had, reportedly, pulled a gun threatening some members of the NPP.

Subsequently, the scheduled programme  was abruptly put to an end following the inability of the police to restore order at the venue.

However, Speaking to the media, the  Sunyani Municipal Director of the NCCE, Mr Eric Adu said though a reinforcement of the police had to be called to put the place in order to prevent any casualties he had to cancel the programme upon the advise of the security agencies.

*Tension in the constituency*

The rivalry between the supporters of the former ambassador and the incumbent member of parliament is seen not be ending anytime soon.

After the New Patriotic Party’s primary for the Sunyani East  Constituency last year, Ambassador George Kumi lost the primary by one vote but  was not satisfied with the results and took the matter to the Sunyani High Court.

When the court ordered a recount of the ballots, the single ballot which was the subject of the dispute was counted in favour of Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh, which eventually to made him win the contest by two votes.

After the verdict, Ambassador Kumi declared his intention to contest as an independent candidate and filed his nomination when the Electoral Commission opened the nominations.

He has since enjoyed the support of some supporters of the New Patriotic Party in the Constituency to his camp.

Story by Emmanuel Henryson Okrah.

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