Ghana Decides 2016 - Part 1
Parliamentary Seats Outlook
As the December 7 parliamentary and presidential elections inch closer, and as usual of political discourse in the country, all manner of calculations and speculations on the chances of the candidates, especially, of the two dominant political parties; the ruling National Democratic Congress and the biggest opposition New Patriotic Party is beginning to fill the air.
Since the start of the Fourth Republic in 1992, any of the two leading parties which have had the opportunity to govern the country has commanded majority in the law making House.
While the two political parties are convinced they will win the upcoming election in the first round, both the NDC and NPP are all also optimistic of increasing their parliamentary seats and, have been predicting which seats they are most likely to snatch from each another.
Beginning from today, The aL-hAJJ will attempt, based on past results and in particularly, that of the 2012 elections, as well as prevailing happenings within the two major political parties in all the 275 constituencies across the country make a comprehensive analysis of this year’s parliamentary elections region-by-region.
Since 1992, any political party with majority seats in parliament ended up winning the presidential elections; thus, forms the next government. But, will this convention repeat itself in the upcoming December polls? And if it does, which of the two leading parties is favored to win majority seats in the December 7 elections? Alhaji Bature Iddrisu and A.A Yayrah assess the chances of all parliamentary candidates of both NDC and NPP in the 275 constituencies
Filing of nomination with the EC ended on Friday, September 30, 2016. At the close of filing, 15 out of the 16 political parties and two out of the nine independent candidates who picked nominations forms were able to submit them. This brings to 17, the number of potential presidential candidates awaiting clearance from the EC to contest this year’s election.
Characteristic of elections in Ghana, the two leading political parties under normal circumstances have fielded candidates for various constituencies. However, it is not clear if the NPP have fielded candidates for all 275 constituencies. Prior to the deadline of filing with the EC, there were some constituencies that the NPP was unable to conduct primaries. This was principally due to infighting among supporters of the party.
In the Krachi East constituency branch of the NPP, for instance, the party elected Kenneth Gyemah aka Abedi, in 2014 but later suspended him over claims he had “abandoned” the constituency since his selection.
The constituency has since been rocked with confusion over attempts by the regional executives of the party to reorganize another election to elect a new candidate. “We would burn down the school they plan to use in organizing the primary. “We would also kill the executives if they would not respect our decision to maintain Gyemah as our choice. Blood and acid will flow if nothing is done immediately”, Kwame Owusu, leader of an NPP youth group warned when attempt was made to organize a ‘new’ election.
In the case of the remaining 13 political parties that have filed with the EC, checks at the head office of the election management body indicate that they have not fielded candidates for all 275 constituencies. Independent parliamentary candidates have also emerged in some constituencies.
Notably among those who have filed to contest the parliamentary election as independent candidates is NDC MP for Sefwi Akontonbra, Hon Herod Cobbina, and NPP MP for Bantama, Henry Kwabena Kokofu. As at press time, Mr. Kwabena Kokofu who is holidaying in the US is reported to have asked his agents to withdraw his candidature.
The upcoming parliamentary election in the nation’s capital region, Greater Accra, promises to be very interesting. Results of preceding elections dating back to 1996 indicate that, any of the two dominant parties which have won majority seats in the region ultimately wins the national election.
In 1996, NDC won majority seats in the cosmopolitan region and ended up securing a second term for the then President Jerry John Rawlings. This trend was repeated in 2000 and 2004 elections where NPP grabbed majority of the seats in the region and won presidential elections on the two occasions. Fast forward 2008 and 2012, NDC managed to snatch some seats from the NPP and ended up winning majority of the seats, giving it victory in both elections.
The region’s parliamentary seat was increased to 34 ahead of the last election in 2012 and same will be used for this year’s election. Out of this number, the ruling NDC presently controls 20 seats whiles the opposition NPP has 14. Politics in the region is such that, all things being equal, none of the two parties; NDC and NPP candidates can snatch some particular seats. However, there are other seats that have swung over the years or, were won with slim margins.
In the Greater Accra region, there are thirteen seats that NDC can comfortable claim it has absolute control over. These are Ablekuma South, Ada, Amasaman, Ashaiman, Ayawaso East, Ayawaso North, Dade-Kotopon, Domeabra-Obom, Kpone-Katamanso, Ledzokuku, Odododiodoo, Sege and Shai-Osudoku.
The main opposition NPP, on the other hand, has a firm grip over seven seats that it will retain in Greater Accra region. These seats are Ablekuma North, Anyaa Sowutuom, Dome-Kwabenya, Okaikwei Central, Okaikwei South, Tema Central and Trobu.
There are however, 13 seats in the region that are likely to swing in this year’s polls. Seats currently controlled by NDC but, could swing to the opposition NPP include, Adenta, Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, Klottey Korle, Krowor, Madina, Ningo Prampram and Ablekuma Central. The NPP on the other hand is likely to lose Ayawaso Central, Ayawaso West Wuogon, Okaikwei North, Tema East, Tema West and Weija to the NDC.
The two leading parties have already made projections of seats they intend winning this year. According to Greater Accra Campaign Coordinator of the NDC, Mr Sylvester Mensah, the party has projected to “deliver a victory of minimum margin in excess of 300,000 in the region and we would increase our parliamentary seats from 20 out of 34 to a minimum of 23 with an overall target of 25,” he stated at the regional campaign launch.
Greater Accra regional chairman of the NPP, Mr Ismael Ashietey, on his part says, his party aims at winning at least 20 parliamentary seats in the region. He told Citi News that unlike the 2012 elections, “this time, we intend to win a minimum of 20 parliamentary seats and then 60% votes for the presidential slot.” The irony is that both parties have failed to name parliamentary seats they have their eyes on.
But, snippets of information and intelligence gathered indicate that the NDC is targeting Weija, Ayawaso West Wuogon, Tema East and West and Okaikwei North or Ayawaso Central as constituencies to grab, whiles the NPP has also lined-up Bortianor-Ngleshie-Amanfrom, Ablekuma Central, Klottey Korle, Adenta, Madina, Ningo-Prampram and Krowor constituencies as seats to snatch from their main opponents.
No Constituency NDC Candidate NPP Candidate
1 Ablekuma Central Alhaji Alidu Haruna Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey
2 Ablekuma North Sally Amaki Darko Attopee Nana Akua Owusu Afriyie
3 Ablekuma South Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije Jerry Ahemd Shaibu
4 Ablekuma West Diana Twum Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
5 Ada Comfort Cudjoe Ghansah
6 Adenta Mohammed Adamu Ramadan Yaw Buabeng Asamoah
7 Amasaman Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson
8 Anya-Sowutuom David Abossey Braide Shirley Ayokor Botchwey
9 Ashaiman Ernest Norgbey Alhaji Yakubu Labarran Barry
10 Ayawaso East Naser Mahama Toure Peter Mireku
11 Ayawaso North Yussif Jajah Amidu MZ
12 Ayawaso West Wuogon Delali Kwesi Brempong Emmanuel Agyarkoh
13 Ayawaso Central Willan Afum Ani-agyei Henry Quartey
14 Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfrom Bright Edward K Demordzie Alhaji Habib Sad
15 Dade Kotopon Nii Amasah Namoale Vincent Sowah Odotei
16 Dome Kwabenya Nurudeen Mohammed Sarah Adwoa Safo
17 Domeabra Obom Sophia Karen Ackuaku Baba Darison
18 Klottey Korle Dr Zanetor Rawlings Philip Addison
19 Kpone Katamanso Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo Solomon Tetteh Appiah
20 Krowor Agnes Naa Momo Lartey Elizabeth Afoley Quaye
21 Ledzokuku Benita Sena Okitey-Dua Dr Okoe Boye
22 Ningo Prampram Sam George Nartey Sylvester Tetteh
23 Odododiodoo Edwin Nii Lantey Vanderpuije Nii Lantey Bannerman
24 Madina Alhaji Amadu Sorogho Alhaji Abubakar Saddique
25 Okaikwei North Abdul Razak Issah Fuseini Issah
26 Okaikwei Central Abdul Rashid Issah Patrick Yaw Boamah
27 Okaikwei South Alexander Akuaku Ahmed Arthur
28 Sege Christian Corletey Otuteye Divine Otoo Agorhum
29 Shai Osudoku Linda Akwele Ocloo Stephene Nane Oyortey
30 Tema Central Ebi Bright Kofi Brako
31 Tema East Nii Kwatwi Titus Glover Robert Kempes Ofosuware
32 Tema West James Enu Carlos Ahenkorah
33 Trobu Mame Efua Sekyi-Addo Moses Anim
34 Weija Obuobia Darkoh-Opoku Tina Naa Ayeley Mensah
Ablekuma Central: This is one of the constituencies among others in the Greater Accra region to watch. Both the NDC and NPP have at some time or the other produced Members of Parliament from this constituency. In this year’s election, the battle is between the NDC’s Alhaji Halidu Haruna and NPP’s Ebenezer Nii Narh Nartey. While NDC candidate is contesting the parliamentary seat for the first, the NPP candidate on the other hand, contested the seat in the 2012 elections but, lost by 1401 votes. Though the NDC candidates has been tipped to retain the seat for the ruling party, observers say divisions in the party flowing from the party’s primaries may hurt his chances.
Ablekuma North: This constituency is one of the few constituencies in the region to witness a straight fight between two women. Both Madam Sally Attoppee of the NDC and Nana Akua Owusu Afriyie are contesting for the very first time. However, as things stand, the contest will not be too keen even though the NDC candidate is believed to be a grassroots politician. The seat is regarded as one of the safe seats of the NPP and there are expectations that the party’s candidate will end up in parliament after the December 7 election.
Ablekuma South: This constituency is not expected to produce any result different from the outcome of the 2012 elections. Though it the NPP has once won it, the NDC has taken control of it in the last two elections. At the time the NPP won it, the Ablekuma West constituency had not been carved out of it. The NPP “strength” in this constituency is not as solid as the ruling party. The carving out of the Ablekuma West constituency from then Ablekuma South constituency has largely contributed to the NPP’s diminishing fortunes in this constituency. In this year’s election, the NDC is being represented by Mayor of Accra, Dr Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije whiles Lawyer Jerry Ahmed Shaibu is representing the NPP. According to political pundits, the election will be a walkover for the NDC candidate giving his stout and stature in national politics. Unlike the relatively young NPP candidate, Dr Okoe Vanderpuije, affectionately called “tsentse” is very resourceful and has so far dwarfed the presence of the NPP candidate.
Ablekuma West: This constituency was one of the 45 newly created constituencies ahead of the 2012 election. The NPP’s Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful won the seat with a little over 10,000 vote margin in the last parliamentary election. Until the recent NPP parliamentary primary in this constituency, political analysts tipped it as one of the safe seats for the biggest opposition party in the Greater Accra region. However the NPP in this is now fractured perhaps, beyond redemption, due to Mrs Ekuful winning the said primary under “dubious” means. Ahead of the primary, there were accusations from one of the aspirants, Theophilus Tettey Enyo and his supporters that Nana Akufo-Addo and the National Executives intended to skew the election in favor of Mrs Ekuful. Mr Tettey Enyo, who is a former constituency chairman of the party, subsequently pulled out of the election and has since been campaigning vigorously to supplant Mrs Ekuful as an independent candidate. If Mr Tettey Enyo is able to garner about 12000 votes, the NPP will then gift the seat to the NDC’s Diana Twum. The NDC candidate can only win the seat on the strength of the independent candidate. Assessment of the strength of the candidates show that Mr Tettey Enyo cannot win the seat as an independent candidate but, may cause a major upset which may allow the less visible NDC candidate to win the seat.
Ada: The Ada constituency is one of the Dangbe constituencies that the NDC has convincingly won since 1992. The NPP’s performance in this constituency has been abysmal. The opposition party is struggling to field a candidate in this constituency. In 2014, NPP delegates rejected the party’s unopposed parliamentary aspirant for the constituency, Mr Kanor Sanakey. The party has since not been able to elect a candidate for the constituency. The reality is that even if the NPP fields a candidate, he may not be able to upstage the Minister. The NDC’s candidate, Hon Comfort Doeyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, who is also a Minister of State at the presidency, is having a jolly ride to another victory in the 2016 election.
Adenta: Since it was created ahead of the 2004 elections, the Adenta constituency has produced three different MPs and in this year’s election, it will produce a “new” MP; bringing to four the number of MPs the constituency would have produced. NPP’s Kwadwo Opare-Hammond won the seat in 2004 but lost it to NDC’s Kojo Adu-Asare in 2008. Ahead of the 2012 election, Kojo Adu-Asare lost his parliamentary bid to Nii Ashie Moore who retained the seat for the party by beating NPP’s Frances Asiam. In this year’s election, both NDC and NPP have fielded new candidates. Disappointed General Secretary Aspirant, Lawyer Yaw Buabeng Asamoah of the NPP will slug it out with relatively young and “unknown” Mohammed Adamu Ramadan of the NDC. The NDC candidate comes from a “rich” political family. His father, Alhaji Ramandan, and brother, Abu Ramadan are former National Chairman and National Youth Organizer respectively, and his sister, Samira Bawumia, is wife of NPP running mate, Dr Bawumia. The NPP candidate is not a novice in politics and will not be a walkover. Mr Asamoah would have to garner at least 6000 plus votes in addition to the over 30000 votes his party’s candidate got in the 2012 election to be able to win the seat for the NDC. In the case of Mr Ramadan, he has a task to rally the support of all the candidates who contested the party’s primary and at the same time solicit votes of other “undecided” voters to retain the seat for the ruling party. As the case stands, the pendulum can swing to any side.
Amasaman: This constituency is being contested by the two frontrunners who stake claim to it in the last election. Though the NPP for the first time snatched the seat from the NDC in 2000, the NDC has controlled it since 2004 when it reclaimed it. The carving of the Trobu constituency out of the Amasaman constituency has even made it easy for the ruling party to maintain firm grip over it. Majority of polling stations in the Trobu constituency vote for the NPP, whereas those in Amasaman vote for the ruling party. The seat is regarded as one of the safe seats of the ruling party. The present occupant, Mr Emmanuel Nii Okai Laryea of the NDC is most likely to go pass his main contender, Mr Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson.
Anyaa-Sowutuom: It was one of the 45 newly created constituencies in the Greater Accra region. It was carved out of the Weija constituency. The NPP’s Shirley Ayokor Botchwey won the seat with a little over 21000 vote margin. She will face NDC’s Mr David Abossey Braide, who has stepped in for Madam Sedinam Tamakloe Attionu. Though there are divisions in the NPP in the constituency, Madam Ayokor Botchwey will comfortably retain the seat for the opposition party. The NDC’s candidate, though a former Assemblyman for the area, and former Presiding Member for Ga South Municipal Assembly, lacks political clout and resources Madam Attionu used to prosecute the party’s campaign in the 2012 elections. He is a pale shadow of the NDC’s 2012 candidate. There are fears that the NDC’s performance is likely to dip, and this, some say, may have impact on the presidential election.
Ashaiman: This constituency is a no-go area for the NPP. It has never won the seat since 1992. But the party has over the years improved its record. Even in 2012 when an independent candidate, Mr Tony Afenyo, emerged from the NDC stock to give Mr Alfred Agbesi a run for his money, the NPP could not win the seat. Though Mr Afenyo polled almost 14000 votes, Mr Agbesi beat the NPP candidate, Seji Saji Amedonu, with 14504 vote margin. According to political pundits, the NDC’s election of new candidate has further blurred the NPP’s chances of winning the seat for the first time. There are some internal issues that the NDC is battling with, but pundits say it will not affect the party’s chances of retaining the seat.
Ayawaso East: This constituency is presently being held by NDC’s Naser Mahama Toure who won it with 12760 vote margin. Though there are agitations among some party supporters in the constituency over neglect, the NDC candidate will simply go pass the NPP’s candidate, Mr Peter Mireku.
Ayawaso North: This seat was carved out of the Ayawaso East constituency ahead of the 2012 election. Late last year, NDC chose elected relatively young Yussif Jajah ahead of the veteran MP, Dr Mustapha Ahmed to lead the party’s battle into the 2016 elections. The NDC candidate has been battling to make “peace” with the outgoing MP. Some of Dr Mustapha Ahmed’s supporters are still licking their wounds. Despite this development, the NDC’s Yussif Jajah will definitely retain the seat. The emergence of Yussif Jajah has succeeded in whitewashing the presence of the NPP candidate, Amidu MZ in the constituency.
Ayawaso Central: The NDC has never won this seat since 1992 though it has performed creditably well over the years. The closest the NDC came to winning the seat was in 2008 when NPP’s Sheikh I C Quaye defeated NDC’s Dr Kwesi Ofei Agyeman with 847 margin votes. Perhaps, realizing that his popularity in the constituency had dipped, Sheikh I C Quaye made way for a new candidate, Mr Henry Quartey to contest the 2012 election. Unfortunately for the NPP, Mr Quartey has been unable improved on the party’s record. He defeated Mr William Affum Ani-agyei of the NDC with only 635 vote margin. The two will again square-off in this year’s election. While results of the 2012 elections indicates that the NPP’s control of the seat is being threatened by the NDC’s continuous closing of the gap between them, Mr Henry Quartey is most likely to retain the seat albeit, with a slim margin. The infighting among NDC members, particularly the parliamentary candidate, and some known party activists as a result of the party’s primary will most likely have adverse effect on the NDC’s hope to snatch the seat from the NPP.
Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfro: If there is any parliamentary seat in the Greater Accra region that the NPP can claim from the NDC with ease, it is the Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfro constituency. The NDC’s candidate, Hon Bright Demordzi won the seat with a little over 300 vote margins in the 2012 election. He has been battling to make amends with constituency executives after managing to win the party’s primary to lead NDC’s into another election this year. Some of the constituency executives have been up in arms against him and attempts by elders of the ruling party to call truce have so far not yielded any meaningful result. The NPP is also battling with its own internal issues in the constituency. Rev Adjetey Larbi, who nearly won the seat for the partyin 2012 is now running on the ticket of the PPP after losing the party’s primary. If Rev Larbi’s popularity translates into votes, then the NDC is likely to retain the seat with ease. However, if the opposite happens, then the NDC will gift the seat to the NPP.
Dade Kotopon: This constituency has mainly been controlled by the NDC. The NPP briefly won it in 2000 but lost it in the 2004 election and has since not been able to recapture it. The NDC has instead maintained firm grip on it. In the 2012 election, the NDC’s candidate, Hon Nii Amasah Namoale retained it with an excess of 15483 vote margin. Though the NPP has a new candidate, Mr Vincent Sowah Odotei, he is not likely to make any difference.
Dome Kwabenya: Since its creation prior to the 2004 election, the NPP has maintained firm grip on this constituency. Indeed, the Dome Kwabenya seat is one of the safe seats of the NPP in the Greater Accra region. Though the NDC’s 2012 candidate, Madam Sophia Karen Ackuaku made marginal gains in the 2012 election, it was not enough to win the seat for the party. The NDC’s candidate for this year’s election, Nurudeen Mohammed is not likely to better the records of his predecessor. He lacks political clout and resources to give NPP’s Sarah Adwoah Safo stiff opposition. Giving Adwoa Safo’s visibility in the constituency, she is likely to increase the NPP’s votes.
Domeabra-Obom: Like Dome Kwabenya, it was created ahead of the 2004 elections, but has been represented by the NDC in the legislative House in the last 12 years. The NPP’s performance in the last three elections in this constituency has been appalling. However, the main opposition party is likely to better its performance in this year’s election due to intense standoff between the outgoing MP, Daoud Yemoh Anum and his successor, Madam Sophia Ackuaku. The NPP’s candidate, Baba Darison, has taken advantage of the bickering in the NDC to reach out to communities known to be NDC strongholds and he has so far made inroads. Nevertheless, Madam Sophia Ackuaku’s is better placed to retain the seat for the governing party.
Klottey Korle: This constituency will be the battle ground in this year’s election in the Greater Accra. Dr Zanetor Rawlings, medical-trained-daughter of NDC founder, Mr Jerry Rawlings, will come face-to-face with renowned lawyer and NPP candidate, Mr Phillip Addison. Both NDC and NPP are battling with internal rebellions in the constituency. The outgoing MP, Hon Nii Armah Ashietey’s legal battle with Dr Zanetor, though over, has ultimately led to creation of divisions in the party. In the case of the NPP, alleged plot by the National Executive to goad Lawyer Phillip Addison to use the court to overturn the selection of Mr Nii Noi Nortey leading to his decision to go independent has made things very difficult for the NPP in reclaiming the seat it controlled in 2004. As the two parties battle with internal problems, analysts say Dr Zanetor is most likely to retain the seat for the ruling NDC. Proponents of this view say, her father’s popularity is adding to her chances of going pass Lawyer Addison. Mr Nii Noi’s decision to go independent has further diminished Lawyer Addison’s dream making it to the august house of parliament.
Kpone Katamanso: This constituency houses one of the veteran legislators in the history of the country. The present occupant, Hon Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, who is the Greater Accra regional Minister, took over the seat form his predecessor NDC MP from 2005. All three MPs that have come from this constituency were produced by the ruling party. The seat is considered as one of the safe seats of the NDC. The outcome of this year’s election will not be different from result of the 2012 election.
Krowor: This seat will witness hot contest between two new female candidates; NDC’s Agnes Naa Momo Lartey and NPP’s Elizabeth Afoley Quaye. The seat, currently occupied by the ruling NDC, has been vacant for close to a year following the inability of Dr Nii Oakley Quaye Kumah, the incumbent Member of Parliament, to perform his duties due to ill health.
In December 2015, the NDC elected Mr E.B Borketey aka Amoosha as it parliamentary candidate for this year’s election. He however, resigned early this year due to ill-health. Mr E.B Borketey’s place has since been taken by Madam Agnes Naa Momo Lartey. While feuding factions in the Krowor branch of the NDC appear to have buried the hatchet, their counterpart, NPP, are still fighting each other in the constituency.
Though the NPP has elected Madam Elizabeth Quaye as its candidate, posters of Mr Emmanuel Adjei Boye, who contested the primary but lost, have been splashed in the constituency depicting him as the NPP’s candidate for 2016 election. Both supporters of Madam Quaye and Mr Adjei Boye are competing with whose posters should be visible in the constituency. This development and others factors put the NDC in a position to retain the seat.
Ledzokuku: This seat is presently occupied by deputy Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mrs Benita Sena Okitey Dua. She is being challenged by NPP’s Dr Okoe Boye. The NDC has won four out of the six parliamentary elections (1992, 1996, 2008 and 2012) while the NPP has won two (2000 and 2004).
Both NDC and NPP are struggling to close their ranks ahead of the elections. Mrs Okitey Dua’s running battles with former MCE for Ledzokuku, Mr Daniel Amartey Mensah has not been adequately resolved and this has created serious division among party supporters.
Few weeks ago, constituency executives of the NPP in this constituency suspended one of Dr Okoe Boye’s contenders for allegedly working against the party. This has worsened the party’s already volatile situation. However, and regardless of these developments in both parties, the NDC remains a party to beat in this constituency.
Since Okitey Dua took over from Hon Nii Nortey Dua as the party’s candidate for the 2012 elections, the NPP has engaged in ethnic politics in a bid to ditch her. In the heat of 2012 campaign, supporters of NPP’s candidate, Dr Gladys Norley Ashietey rallied Gas to vote against the NDC candidate because she is not a native, but this strategy did not yield the desired result.
The NPP in this year’s election has so far intensified same campaign strategy. Their argument is that the Ledzokuku seat must be represented by a Ga, therefore Dr Okoe Boye must be elected in this year’s election. However, the NDC’s strengthen in the constituency seem to have pale this vicious campaign strategy into insignificance.
Ningo Prampram: Unlike in previous elections, the NDC can no longer consider this seat as one of its safe seats going into this year’s election. Likewise, the NPP cannot also confidently say it will snatch the seat from the NDC on December 7. The dynamics in this constituency in this year’s election is completely different from previous elections.
Both NDC and NPP have fielded two relatively young men; NDC’s Sam George Nartey and NPP’s Sylvester Mensah. Incidentally, both candidates are from Ningo. This is a complete departure from previous elections where the NDC has since 1992 fielded Hon E.T Mensah who hails from Prampram.
Presently, there is deep seated resentment between the outgoing MP, Hon ET Mensah and his supporters, and the NDC’s candidate, Sam George Nartey and his supporters. This rift arose from the acrimonious parliamentary primary that led to painful defeat of Mr E T Mensah. This has sometimes resulted in “clashes” between supporters of the NDC from Ningo and Prampram.
While many think the NPP will take advantage of the unfortunate happenings in the NDC, the party’s parliamentary candidate, Mr Sylvester Mensah is also presently at war with some branch executives and supporters. Mr Mensah has been accused by some branch executives of misappropriating party funds. They have called on the National Executives to organize fresh primary to elect new candidate, failure of which they will advise themselves. For now, winner of the seat will only be determined after the election.
Odododiodoo: The NDC has won all parliamentary elections in this constituency except 2000 election where the NPP won the seat. Voting trends in the constituency show that the NPP will have to do “something extraordinary” if it intends to win this seat. The present occupant of the seat, Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuije, a shrewd politician, does not come easy as a candidate to beat. From his days as presidential staffer in the Mills’ government to legislator and now Minister, Nii Lante has transformed the constituency, particularly Bukom, Attoh Quarshie, Agbado and its environs. The NDC stands a better chance of winning the seat compared to any other party.
Madina: The NDC’s Alhaji Amadu Sorogho has been in control of this seat since 2004 when it was created. Political pundits say the NDC has managed to keep the seat all this while because the NPP fielded “weaker” candidates.
The selection of former Minister of Water Resources, and former MP for Salaga, Alhaji Boniface Saddique Abubakar, as NPP’s candidate in the constituency couple with tension in the NDC; the candidate of the opposition party stands a better chance winning the seat for the party for the first time.
The only impediment on the way of Alhaji Abubakar Siddique is how to win the heart of Nana Akufo-Addo. The MP aspirant is a close confident of suspended National Chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, and campaigned vigorously for him to be elected chairman.
Alhaji Sorogho won the seat in 2012 with a margin of 6596 votes. However, some say the NDC candidate will face “real” test in this year’s election. If he is able to make peace with all the candidates that challenged him in the last election, then he may retain the seat. Perhaps, seeing him with his fiercest contender in the primary, Lawyer Francis Sosu, during the filling with the EC signals that the incumbent MP is gradually building bridges so far as peace in Madina NDC is concerned.
Okaikwei North: This is one of the constituencies that were created ahead of the 2012 elections. NPP’s Elizabeth K. Tawiah Sackey won the seat with a margin of 1921 votes. Based on this result, the NDC has penciled this constituency as one of the constituencies in the Greater Accra region to snatch from their main opponents.
Both parties have fielded new candidates; NDC has elected Abdul Razak Issah and NPP has nominated, Fuseini Issah. The two candidates have so far intensified their campaigns either, to retain the seat for the NPP or win the seat for the ruling party. While the NDC looks united in this constituency and are enjoying adequate resources, the NPP is battling with internal bickering arising from the party’s primary. The NPP’s plans to retain this seat is being threatened by the NDC candidate’s popularity.
Okaikwei Central: Unlike the neighboring Okaikwei North, the Okaikwei Central is a no go area for the NDC. The ruling party’s candidate, Abdul Rashid Issah, is less resourceful to upstage NPP’s Patrick Yaw Boamah. Reports that the NPP MP is not enjoying support of Nana Akufo-Addo, is not enough to give the NDC candidate any political mileage over Hon Boamah. The best the NDC can do is to increase its votes. The NPP is in a comfortable position to retain the Okaikwei Central seat.
Okaikwei South: Though the NDC has never won this seat since its creation in 1992, the party has not performed poorly in the last six elections. The NPP is sharply divided along the incumbent MP, Hon Ahmed Arthur, and failed parliamentary candidate hopeful, Madam Vicky Bright. A High Court ruling dismissing Madam Vicky Bright’s suit challenging the eligibility of Hon Arthur to contest on the party’s ticket has not helped douse the tension in the party. The feud between the MP and his rival, Madam Bright existed even before the 2012 elections but the NPP managed to beat the NDC with a margin of 9831 votes.
The NDC, on the other hand, is also fraught with its own challenges. Aside logistical constraint which is impeding the candidate, Mr Alexander Akuaku’s campaign; some party supporters are raising eyebrows about his human relation. According to them Mr Akuaku’s attitude is driving away potential voters who may want to associate with the party. This set, however, will most likely be retained by the NPP.
Sege: Since its creation ahead of the 2004 elections, the Sege constituency has kept faith with the ruling party. Ahead of the 2012 election, the NDC ceded to calls by the constituents to change the then incumbent MP, Hon Alfred Abayatey by electing Hon Otuteye Christian Corleytey who retained the seat for the candidate.
However, Hon Otuteye Christian Corleytey, unlike his predecessor, did not do well in the elections. While Hon Abayateye won the 2008 election with a 12695 margin, Hon Otuteye Christian Corleytey defeated the NPP candidate with a margin of 3119 votes. Pundits blame the “poor” performance of the NDC candidate on the infighting between him and the then outgoing MP.
In this year’s election, the NPP has fielded the candidate who nearly won the seat for them in 2012. Indeed, the NPP candidate, Mr Divine Otoo Agorhum, has remained the opposition party’s candidate since 2008. Though the NPP in the Sege constituency claims the party would win the seat for the first time this year, the reality on the ground does not support this assertion. Fortunately for the NDC, the tension that existed in the party ahead of the 2012 elections seems to have died down.
Shai Osudoku: The opposition NPP has not performed well in this constituency since 1992 when the seat was created. In the last parliamentary election, the NDC won with a margin of 11098 votes. The NDC candidate who posted this impressive result for the party has been replaced with Madam Linda Akwele Ocloo. The NPP has also replaced its 2012 candidate with Madam Stephene Nane Oyortey.
Madam Linda Akwele Ocloo dramatic rise to the position of Parliamentary Candidate for the ruling party was a development never anticipated. In December 2015 when the NDC conducted its parliamentary primaries across the country, Madam Akwele Ocloo’s husband, Mr William Ocloo was elected ahead of the incumbent MP, Hon David Tetteh Assumeng and the Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Dr Michael Kpesa Whyte.
Few weeks into Mr Ocloo’s election, he died in a tragic accident at Juaso in the Ashanti region. Following this heartbreaking incident, his wife, Madam Akwele Ocloo opted to contest another round of election by the NDC to elect a new candidate during which she defeated her main contender, Dr Kpesa Whyte. Despite the seemingly infighting within the NDC in the constituency, Mrs Ocloo is highly favored to retain the seat for the ruling party.
Tema Central: This constituency is among seats created ahead of the 2012 elections. In the 2012 election, a businessman, Mr Kofi Brako, won the virgin seat on the ticket of the NPP with 26,948 voters as against 14,360 polled by Lawyer James Enu, the NDC candidate.
However, the incumbent NPP MP, popularly known in the constituency as “KB”, was to win an acrimonious parliamentary primary in July 2015 after several postponements and disagreements to lead the NPP once again into this year’s election. On the side of the NDC, a popular actress and a film producer, Miss Ebi Bright, have been selected to contest the seat.
While it is widely believed the NDC may not be able to win the seat, Ms Bright’s personal attraction and the performance of the Mahama administration in the Tema Central constituency coupled with the bickering in the NPP could cause the NPP to drop votes in this year’s election.
Tema East: Among the seats at the Tema enclave of the Greater Accra region, the Tema East constituency is the only seat the NDC can boast of snatching from the NPP with ease. In the 2012 elections, the NDC candidate, Robert Kempes Ofosuware lost by just 3 votes.
The NDC has again elected him to go for the kill this time round, but the incumbent, Hon Titus Glover of the NPP has vowed to retire him. Many say Mr Ofoduware’s impressive performance in the 2012 election was due to his position as Chief Executive of Tema Metropolitan Assembly.
In this year’s election however, Mr Ofosuware is under resourced to engage in the kind of campaign he waged in the last election. Also, unlike the 2012 elections where he enjoyed the support of all constituency executives and party supporters, his relationship with some party supporters is everything but cordial. This, many say, may affect his chances of winning the seat for the NDC.
In the case of Hon Titus Glover, he has not been able to unite his party following the acrimonious primary which some of the party supporters alleged was skewed to favor his reelection. Giving the closeness of last year’s election, any of the two leading parties that up its campaign and, is able to rally party supporters to reach out to floating voters can carry the day.
Tema West: The NDC’s Samuel Ofosu Ampofo lost this seat to outgoing NPP MP, Madam Irene Naa Torshie Addo by 945 vote margin in the 2012 election. This was a mark improvement over the 2008 results which the NPP candidate won with a margin of 8642 votes. From hindsight, it should be possible for the NDC to win the seat for the first time, but would the NPP allow that to happen?
In this year’s election, both the NDC and NPP have changed their candidates. In what became known as the most acrimonious constituency primary in the Greater Accra region, Mr Carlos Ahenkorah managed to dislodge Madam Irene Naa Torshie Addo. All attempts by the outgoing MP to use the courts to prevent Mr Ahenkorah from contesting the main elections in December even after his election by the party have so far failed. The NPP in that constituency is thus, divided. It is no secret that Madam Naa Torshie is indifferent to Mr Ahenkorah retaining the seat for the biggest opposition party.
In the camp of the NDC, lawyer James Enu, who contested on the party’s ticket in the Tema Central constituency, has been elected as the ruling party’s candidate for the Tema West constituency. Unlike Mr Ofosu Ampofo, Lawyer James Enu lacks the political clout and resources to put up a campaign comparable to what the party did in last year’s election. There are also petty squabbles between party supporters and some constituency executives arising from the primary that he (Lawyer Enu) has not been able to resolve.
Though the NPP does not look good in the Tema West constituency due to the infighting, Mr Ahenkorah is very resourceful and has so far outweighed the NDC candidate in terms of visibility in the constituency. If the NDC had fielded Mr Ofosu Ampofo or another candidate of his stature, the party would have for the first time beat the NPP. As it stands now, Mr Ahenkorah looks more prepared and serious to retain the seat. The NDC candidate and his supporters are banking hopes on the internal wrangling in the NPP, which so far is not yielding the desire outcome expected.
Trobu: This constituency is one of the safe seats of the NPP in the Greater Accra region. In the 2012 elections, the NPP candidate, Hon Moses Anim won with 18560 margin votes. He has been reelected to square off with NDC’s Mame Efua Sekyi Addo.
The NPP candidate stands a better chance of retaining this seat. It appears the NDC candidate knows this hence; her lethargic campaign. In the early part of this year, she was very visible in the constituency, but has suddenly lost steam few weeks to the election.
Weija: Though the NDC lost the seat by 5962 vote margin, the party has penciled the Weija seat as one of the parliamentary seats to snatch from the NPP in the Greater Accra. The party’s hopes of winning the seat for the first time hinges on the strength of its candidate, Madam Oboubi Darkoh Opoku’s visibility in the constituency.
Aside projects the Mahama government through the Ga South Municipal Assembly has been undertaking in the constituency, OB, as the NDC candidate is affectionately called; through his NGO, Oboubi Foundation, has undertaken numerous life changing projects in the constituency in past few years and the people seemed to have recognized this singular contribution.
Many have argued that if election were held today, OB will win the seat for the NDC. But OB’s popularity in the constituency and her campaign strategies, mostly founded on mainstream media and social media hypes, have not changed from what she did in the 2012 which led to her defeat.
Ahead of the 2012 election, the Weija constituency was all about OB. Nothing was head of the then NPP candidate, Hon Rosemund Comfort Abrah. However, to the surprise of many, the “invisible” NPP candidate defeated OB.
Perhaps, sensing danger, the NPP has replaced Hon Rosemund Comfort Abrah with its former deputy National Women Organizer, Madam Tina Mensah. The new NPP candidate, unlike her predecessor, is at war with some of her party executives and supporters in the constituency. This is threatening the NPP’s control of the seat after this year’s election. In this year’s election, the contest in the Weija constituency is opened and any of the two leading candidates can win.
Like the Greater Accra, Western and Brong Ahafo regions, none of two leading political parties can lay claim to the Central region as its stronghold. The region has in the last six elections alternated between the NDC and NPP.
In the 1992 and 1996 elections, the NDC won majority seats in the Central region. However, the tables turned in the 2000 elections. The NDC in that election had the rude shock when the NPP upstaged it in the number of seats even though the NDC flag bearer, the late John Mills comes from that region and this feat was repeated in the 2004 elections,.
However, the Central region renewed its broken marriage with the NDC in the 2008 and 2012 elections when it voted for majority of party’s parliamentary candidates. Presently, the region has 23 seats out of which the NDC controls 16 whiles the NPP has 7.
Fourteen out of the 23 seats in the region where won with a margin of victory of 10 percent or less either for NDC or NPP. Out of the 14 seats, 10 are NDC-held constituencies whilst four are being held by the opposition NPP. The 10 marginal NDC-held constituencies are Agona West, Ejumako Enyan Esiam, Asikuma Odoben Brakwa, Assin North, Awutu Senya West, Cape Coast North, Cape Coast South, Gomoa East, Hemang Lower Denkyira and Mfantseman.
The four NPP marginal seats are Assin South, Awutu Senya East, Effutu and Upper Denkyira East. The NPP in this year’s election has predicted to win 11 additional seats to add to the 7 they presently hold. If the party succeeds, this will bring to 18 the number of seats it will control in the next parliament from the Central region.
The NDC has also said it is poised to win three additional seats, namely Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA), Awutu Senya East and the Effutu constituencies to add to 17 that it presently controls. According to the Central regional Communication Director of the party, these seats were loaned to the NPP in the 2012 election, adding that it “is time to take them back.”
The NDC is quite visible in the Central region compared to the NPP ahead of this year’s election. This could be attributed to several factors. Aside the numerous infrastructural projects such as the Kotokuraba market, Kasoa Interchange, Cape Coast stadium and the famous Komenda Sugar factory among others, key government functionaries also hail from the region. Notable amongst them include the Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur, Trade Minister Dr Ekow Spio Gabrah, Foreign Affairs Minister Madam Hannah Serwah Tetteh, Education Minister Prof Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang, Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson and others. As part of the NDC plans to have a firm grip on the region, the party recently launched its national campaign in Cape Coast amidst all the pomp and pageantry.
But the NPP says it is unmoved by the ruling party’s show of strength in the region. Regional Chairman of the party, Mr Robert Kutin said the current economic and social hardship in the country presents a fine opportunity for the party to win the seats from the ruling NDC.
No Constituency NDC NPP
1 Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese Dr Samuel Kweku Hayford Elvis Morris Donkoh
2 Agona East Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr James Owusu Barnes
3 Agona West Charles Obeng Inkoom Cynthia Morison
4 Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam Cassiel Ato Forson Ransford Nyarko
5 Asukuma/Odeben/Brakwa Georgina Nkrumah Aboah Anthony Effah
6 Assin Central Dr Kofi Blankson Kennedy Ohene Agyapong
7 Assin North Samuel Ambre Abena Mensah
8 Assin South Sabina Appiah Kubi John Ntim Fordjour
9 Awutu Senya East Dr Adams Nuhu Mavis Hawa Koomson
10 Awutu Senya West Hannah Serwah Tetteh George Andah
11 Cape Coast North Kobby Akyeampong Babara Asher Ayisi
12 Cape Coast South Kweku Ricketts-Hagan Micheal Arthur Dadzie
13 Effutu Eric Don Arthur Alex Afenyo Markin
14 Ekumfi Abeiku Crentsil
15 Gomoa Central Rachel Florence Appoh Naana Eyiah
16 Gomoa East Desmond De-Graft Paitoo Kojo Asemanyi
17 Gomoa West Samuel Fletcher, Koko Kom Abban
18 Hemang Lower Denkyira Foster Joseph Andoh Bright Wireko Brobbey
19 Komenda /Edina /Eguafo /Abirem Samuel Atta Mills Dr Nana Ato Arthur
20 Mfantseman James Eshun Ekow Kwansah Hayford
21 Twifo Ati Morkwa Abraham Dwuma Odoom
22 Upper Denkyira East Emelia Ankomah Nana Amoako
23 Upper Denkyira West Samuel Nsowah Gyan
Abura/Asebu/Kwamankese: This seat is one of the swing constituencies in the Central region. Both the NDC and NPP have had representation in parliament from this constituency. The incumbent MP, Anthony Christian Dadzie, snatched the seat from the NPP in the 2004 election and has since asserted firm grip over it. In the 2012 election, he defeated the NPP candidate, Job Acquah Markin with a margin of 8450 votes.
But Hon Dazdie will not be leading the NDC into this year’s election. In 2015, he lost his bid to a lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba, Dr Samuel Kweku Hayford. The NPP has also elected its constituency Chairman, Elvis Morris Donkoh, to square off with the NDC candidate.
The NPP candidate is said to be banking hopes on social interventions his Non-Governmental Organization has introduced in the constituency to recapture the seat for his party in this year’s election. Though he is said to be popular, some say he cannot match the NDC candidate’s clout in the constituency.
Agona East: This seat is currently being held by deputy Central Regional Minister, Queenstar Pokua Sawyerr for the NDC. After losing the seat to the NPP in the 2004 and 2008 elections, Madam Pokua Sawyerr reclaimed the seat for the ruling party in the 2012 election. She won with a margin of 4652 votes. The Minister has again been elected by delegates of the NDC to contest for the second time.
Madam Pokua Sawyerr will battle with NPP’s James Owusu Barnes. Though the margin of votes in the last election is slim, the NDC’s candidate’s exploits in the constituency show that it will be difficult for the NPP to recapture the seat in the coming election. The NPP is not too visible in this constituency.
Agona West: This seat is among the swing constituencies in the Central Region, having been won by the two leading political parties.
Since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1992, both the NPP and the NDC have both held the seat. The NDC occupied it in 1992 and 1996 and lost it to the NPP in 2000, 2004 and 2008. However, the NDC recaptured the seat in the 2012 election.
Going by the parliamentary results of the constituency, the upcoming elections will determine which of the two parties would have dominance over the other in the constituency.
There are indications the two leading parties, the NDC and the NPP, are leaving no stone unturned in their quest to either retain or to recapture the seat. While the NDC is working hard to hold onto the seat, the NPP has pledged to take it back.
Ahead of the 2016 elections, the parliamentary election in the constituency will definitely be a close battle between the incumbent, Mr Obeng-Inkoom of the NDC, and a first timer, Mrs Cynthia Morrison of the NPP. It is an open race and any of the two leading candidates can win.
Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam: Like the Agona West seat, the Ajumako/Enyan/Essiam constituency is also a swing constituency in the Central region. The NDC won it in 1992 but lost it to the NPP in 1996 election with the emergence of Isaac Edumadze as its candidate. Mr Edumadze controlled the seat until the 2008 elections when he decided to step aside for another candidate. However, his successor, William Kow Arthur-Baiden could not retain the seat for the NPP. He lost it to the NDC.
Mr Forson retained it in 2012 for the NDC with a margin of 3290 votes. He has since been reelected as the NDC’s candidate to do battle with NPP’s Ransford Nyarko. Mr Forson is presently the deputy Minister of Finance and Central regional Campaign Coordinator for the ruling party. The NPP candidate lacks resources to topple the deputy Finance Minister in this year’s election.
Asikuma/Odeben/Brakwa: Both the NDC and NPP have once been represented in the law-making House from this constituency. Controversial anti-corruption campaigner, P C Appiah Ofori won the seat for the NPP for the first time in the 2000 elections until the 2012 election when the NDC recaptured it.
The incumbent MP, Georgina Nkrumah Aboah has been the NDC’s candidate since 2000 and only won the seat after the exit of P.C Appiah Ofori ahead of the 2008 elections. The NPP has reelected Anthony Effah as its candidate for this year’s election. Mr Effah was defeated by Georgina Nkrumah Aboah in the 2012 elections.
Mr Effah is reported to have described this year’s election as “revenge” for what befell him in last election. Giving the margin of victory of 2618 votes, the NPP candidate is said to have vowed to unseat the NDC candidate. The race is opened and any of the two candidates can win.
Assin North: This constituency was held by the NDC until the emergence of Kennedy Ohene Agyapong who won it for the NPP in the 2000 elections. The Assin North constituency was however divided ahead of the 2012 elections, and Mr Agyapong opted to contest in the newly created Assin Central constituency. This paved the way for NDC’s Samuel Ambre to recapture the seat after 12 years.
The Assin North constituency is the only seat being held by the NDC in the Assin area. In 2012, the NDC candidate won it with 2057 majority votes. He has been given another opportunity to lead the party into this year’s election.
The NPP has however, elected Madam Abena Mensah. Reports are that Mr Kennedy Agyapong had a hand in the election of Madam Abena Mensah, and has so far been churning resources to that constituency to help snatch the seat from the NDC. The NPP’s visibility in the constituency is said to be threatening NDC’s control of the seat after this year’s election.
Assin South: This seat is presently occupied by former Minister of Education in the Kufuor government, Prof Dominic Fobih. He first won the seat for the NPP in the 2000 election. Until Prof Fobih’s emergence, the seat was held by the NDC.
Ahead of the NPP’s primaries in 2014, Prof Fobih did not seek reelection and as a result the NPP elected John Ntim Fordjour as his successor. The NDC has also elected Sabina Appiah Kubi to lead its battle. The trend in most of the constituencies in the Central region, especially in the camp of the NPP, is that anytime the party substitute its veteran MP with a new candidate, the party loses the seat to the NDC.
If this trend repeat itself in this constituency, then the NDC’s Sabina Appiah Kubi is most likely to reclaim the seat for the NDC. The NPP won the seat in the last election with a margin of 1931 votes. Though the NPP candidate has vowed to widen the margin, the NDC candidate has also pledged to improve on the record of the party’s 2012 candidate by winning the seat for the ruling party in the December 7 polls.
Awutu Senya East is one of the seats created ahead of the 2012 elections. The NPP’s Mavis Hawa Koomson made history by beating NDC’s Dr Adams Nuhu to win it for the first time. Many attributed the NDC’s loss in this constituency to cracks within the party’s constituency executives and Dr Adams contenders in that year’s primaries.
This year’s election will be contested again by Madma Hawa Koomson and Dr Adams Nuhu, who is the Municipal Chief Executive for Awutu Senya East. The Central regional branch of the NDC has included this seat in the list of seats it has targeted to snatch from the NPP.
According to NDC executives in the region the problems that existed in the party leading to Dr Nuhu’s defeat has been resolved. Aside this, the party leadership in the region is also banking hopes on the construction of the Kasoa Interchange, polyclinics, schools among other projects in the catchment area to provide the magic wand that will fetch them the seat.
However, Madam Hawa Koomson has vowed not to let go of the seat. She has pledged to improve the 4170 vote margin she won with in the 2012 election. The NPP candidate has rejected claims that she benefited from infighting in the NDC to win the seat.
Surprisingly, the tables have turned in this constituency ahead of this year’s election. Like the NDC ahead of the 2012 election, Madam Koomson is presently at loggerheads with some of her constituency executives and supporters. If the infighting extends to December, she is likely to suffer what befell the NDC candidate in the last election.
Awutu Senya West: Arguably, the Awutu Senya West constituency will witness the hottest contest in the Central region due to the personalities representing both the NDC and NPP as parliamentary candidates. Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Hannha Tetteh gained overwhelming endorsement of the NDC delegates in 2016 to retain the party’s bid.
The Minister will wrestle with Marketing mogul and NPP candidate, George Andah in this year’s election. The NPP candidate has vowed to end Madam Tetteh’s reign in parliament. But happenings in the constituency indicate that the task ahead of him is herculean. Media reports suggest that some NPP supporters defected in droves to the NDC. The defectors cited the incumbent MP’s good works. Though the election in this constituency signals a keen contest, pundits have tipped Madam Hannah Tetteh to retain the seat.
Cape Coast North: This constituency came about as a result of the division of the Cape Coast constituency into Cape Coast North and South. The Cape Coast constituency has alternated between the NDC and NPP. The Cape Coast North constituency is presently being held by deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton Oduro. He has handed the baton to former deputy Minister of Interior, Kobby Akyeampong to lead the party into this year’s election.
The NPP has also elected Madam Babara Asher Ayisi as its candidate. She is seeking to make history be winning the seat for the NPP for the first since its creation. The NDC won the seat in the 2012 election with a margin of 1631votes. This is said to have emboldened the NPP candidate who says that he can beat Mr Kobby Akyeampong.
While the NPP appear united ahead of the December elections in the constituency, the NDC is yet to put its house in order following the acrimonious primary that saw the selection of Kobby Akyeampong as the ruling party’s parliamentary candidate. The campaign team and supporters of one of the parliamentary aspirants, Charles Kojo Walker, have vowed not to accept Kobby Akyeampong as the NDC’s parliamentary candidate.
According to them, the outcome of the primary was not the true representation of the choice of the majority. They have unrelentingly been calling for a rerun of the primaries in the constituency. Some members of the NDC fear that if this division persists, the NPP candidate could capitalize on it to win the seat. But others have also rejected this claim, insisting that Mr Akyeampong will retain the seat for the ruling party based on his standing in Ghanaian politics.
Those who hold this view cite Mr Akyeampong’s personal contributions to developments in the constituency and the Mahama government’s achievements in the Cape Coast municipality as a whole.
Cape Coast South: Like the neighboring Cape North, the Cape Coast South constituency was created ahead of the 2012 election as a result of the splitting of the Cape Coast constituency. Mr Kwaku Ricketts Hagan made history by winning it for the first time with a margin of 2944 votes for the NDC.
The appointment of Mr Ricketts-Hagan as Central regional Minister is said to have dashed the NPP candidate’s hopes of winning the seat for his party. The NPP candidate, Michael Arthur Dadzie, many say, lacks resources and political clout to give the regional Minister stiff competition.
Effutu constituency in the Central region like other seats in the region is also a swing seat. Both NDC and NPP have been represented in parliament from this constituency. It is one of three constituencies the NDC has vowed to reclaim from the NPP.
The seat is presently being held by controversial NPP MP, Alex Afenyo Markin who defeated the then incumbent NDC MP, Mike Alen Hammah with a margin 3357 votes in the 2012 elections. According regional executives of the NDC, infighting among the Effutu constituency executives of the NDC led to Mr Hammah’s defeat. To them, the party is now united following the election of ace broadcast journalist, Eric Don Arthur as its 2016 parliamentary candidate.
The NDC’s dream of annexing this seat will not come easy. The incumbent MP, Hon Afenyo Markin has gained public appeal for his activeness in debates on the floor of parliament. He is reported recently to have acquire some taxis for persons in the constituency on what is known as “work and pay” basis.
What appears to have diminished his chances in this year’s election is his reported involvement in an alleged bribery scandal in ADB’s IPO offer deal. His opponent, the NDC candidate, aside touting his party’s achievement in the constituency, has also been pointing to Afenyo Markins’ allege involvement in shady deals. The election in this constituency will be keenly contested, and with the inroads Eric Don Arthur has made in the constituency, he stands a chance of reclaiming the seat for the ruling party.
Ekumfi: This constituency is the home of the late President John Evans Atta Mills. The seat is being held by NDC’s Abeiku Crentsil. He has been reelected as the party’s candidate for this year’s election after beating former MP for the area, Mr Kuntu Blankson, in what could be described as an acrimonious election.
Though the NDC is sharply divided in this constituency with fears that the party may lose the seat to the NPP, some say the division existed in the party ahead of the 2012 elections, but the party managed to win the seat with a margin of 7220 votes. To them, the NDC stands a better chance of retaining the seat.
Gomoa Central is also one of the constituencies created ahead of the 2012 elections. The NDC’s Rachel Appoh was elected the first MP for the area. She won with a margin of 4334 votes. The former deputy Minister of Gender and Social Protection has been reelected by delegates of the NDC to square off with NPP’s Naana Eyiah.
Like other Gomoa constituencies, the Gomoa Central constituency is under lock and key for the ruling party except that the NPP candidate may make incursions into the NDC as a result of some disagreements arising for the ruling party’s constituency primary. Though the NPP is united behind their candidate in this constituency, Naana Eyiah resource challenged hence, she is not likely to pose a threat to NDC’s control of the seat.
Gomoa East: Unlike the Gomoa Central seat, the Gomoa East constituency was created in 1992. Both the NDC and NPP have once won this seat. It is presently being held by NDC’s Ekow Panyin Okyere Eduamoah. But the party has elected Desmond De-Graft Paitoo to do battle with NPP’s Kojo Asemanyi. The NDC candidate looks favorable to retain the seat compared to the NPP.
Gomoa West: Like Gomoa East, this seat was also created ahead of the 1992 election. It has alternated between the NDC and NPP. Presently, the seat is being held by NDC’s Francis Kojo Arthur. But he was defeated in the December 2015 primary of the NDC by Public Relations Officer of Volta River Authority, Samuel Fletcher.
Until the emergence of Mr Fletcher as the NDC’s candidate, there were fears that the ruling party could lose the seat to the NPP in this year’s election. To the amazement of the NPP candidate, Lawyer Kojo Kom Abban and his supporters, the NDC candidate has managed to unite his party and even succeeded in infiltrating their camp. If election were held today, the NDC candidate stands a better chance of retaining the seat.
Hemang Lower Denkyira: This is the only seat the Central region being held by the NDC that it can lose easily. In the 2012 election, the NDC candidate, Foster Joseph Andoh won the seat with a margin of only 31 votes.
The seat was originally being held by the NPP until 2012 when the NDC snatched it from them. The NPP candidate who lost the seat, Edwin Abakah Williams, has been replaced with Bright Wireko Brobbey. The Central regional branch of the NPP is said to have tasked Bright Wireko Brobbey to reclaim the seat for the party. This seat is one of the seats in the region that the NPP believes it loaned to the NDC in the 2012 elections and needed to be taken back. The dynamics in this constituency indicate that any of the two candidates can win the seat for their respective parties.
Komenda /Edina /Eguafo /Abirem: If there is any constituency in the Central region being held by the NPP that is most likely to fall to the NDC in this year’s election, then it is no other constituency than the Komenda /Edina /Eguafo /Abirem.
The NPP’s Dr Nana Ato Arthur snatched the seat from the NDC in the last election as a result of disagreements between two NDC stalwarts, Dr J.S Annan and Dr Ato Quarshie leading to the latter contesting as an independent candidate. While Dr J S Annan polled 13952 votes, Dr Ato Quarshie polled 15551 votes.
This gave the NPP’s Ato Arthur the leeway to win the seat for the NPP. The margin of votes between Ato Arthur and Dr Quarshie was 6600. It is no secret that if Dr Quarshie had not contested as an independent candidate, Dr J S Annan would have retained the seat for the ruling party.
Unfortunately for Ato Arthur and the NPP, none of two feuding candidates of the NDC contested the primary. The ruling party has elected no less a better than Mr Samuel Atta Mills, junior brother of late President Mills. The NDC has since served notice that Ato Arthur should start preparing to exit the seat after December 7 elections. Unlike the 2012 elections, the NDC is now united behind Mr Mills and there is no indication that Ato Arthur can retain the seat for the NPP.
Mfantseman: This constituency has been represented in parliament by both NDC and NDC constituencies. The last two MPs from this constituency served as Ministers in their respective governments. Mr Stephen Asamoah Baoteng served as Minister of Information and later Tourism in the Kufuor whiles Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah also served as deputy Minister and later Central Regional Minister in the Mill/Mahama government.
The NDC has elected its constituency chairman, Samuel Ato Amoah as its candidate for this year’s election whiles the NPP has replaced Asamoah Boateng with Ekow Kwansah Hayford. There are indications the NDC candidate’s popularity in the constituency due to his previous position as constituency chairman puts him ahead of his NPP counterpart.
Twifo Ati Morkwa: This constituency promises to be one of the keenly contested constituencies in the Central region. The NPP MP who lost the seat to the NDC, Abraham Dwuma Odoom, has been reelected as the party’s 2016 candidate.
He has vowed to redeem his image by winning back the seat for the NPP in this year’s election. However, incumbent MP, Samuel Ato Amoah, who has been given another opportunity by the NDC to contest the seat, has also vowed to retire the NPP candidate.
Though the NDC looks strong in this constituency, the NPP candidate may pull a surprise in this constituency if the ruling party does not address certain lingering concerns by its supporters.
Upper Denkyira East: The ruling NDC is not in the best of shapes in this constituency. The NDC candidate, Madam Emelia Ankomah who doubles as MCE for Upper Denkyira East is at logger heads with the Denkyira Traditional Council. She was accused of making disparaging remarks about the Omanhemaa of Denkyira, Nana Ama Ayensua Saara III. The Traditional Council has declared her persona non grata.