The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has lost the position of Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly following the APC’s victory in last Saturday’s bye-election held to fill the vacant seat for Quaan-Pan North Constituency.
The Street Journal recalls that at the inauguration of the Assembly in June, the PDP, which won 13 out of the 24 seats, produced the Majority Leader of the Assembly, but the APC’s Peter Azi emerged as Speaker, having produced Mr Simon Lalong as Governor.
However, barely three months after, the PDP member representing Quaan-Pan North, Mr Godfrey Dadong, died after a brief illness, thereby, necessitating the bye-election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Saturday.
At the end of the bye-election, the results of the poll indicated that the APC candidate, Mr Eric Dakogol, snatched the seat earlier won by Dadong, the late PDP legislator.
Announcing the results of the election on Sunday, the Returning Officer, Associate Professor Akkarven Ashakah, declared that Mr Dakogol of the APC polled 5,409 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Mr Oliver Daboer, who scored 4,771 votes.
Ashakah said the result was arrived at after determining the performances of the two candidates in the five wards of Kwa, Kwang, Doka, Doemak-Goechim and Doemak-Koplong that comprised the constituency, in which the APC won three, while PDP won two.
Only the two parties fielded candidates in the keenly contested election, which was generally conducted in a peaceful manner, but drew politicians and stakeholders from all over the state to Quaan-Pan, as the stakes were high on both sides and none wanted to take chance.
With APC’s victory, PDP has lost its majority position as both parties now have 12 seats each in the 24-member state Assembly.
The APC is expected to fully take over the Majority Leadership if another bye-election is conducted in Langtang South Constituency in due course following the annulment of the election of the member representing the constituency by an election tribunal, which also barred him from contesting election for life on account of being an ex-convict, though he has appealed that decision.