NPP primaries Ursula Owusu, Naa Torshie-Addo, others face uphill task

Female parliamentarians on the ticket of the NPP will face stiff challenges from both male and female aspirants.

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New Patriotic Party (NPP) female parliamentarians have got an uphill task on their hands to undertake as they are being contested left , right and centre by both male and female aspirants.

With nominations closed on April 30, all the female parliamentarians in the Greater Accra Region are being hotly contested.

The female parliamentarians are Naa Torshie Addo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tema West; Mrs Ursula Owusu Ekuful, MP for Ablekuma West; Ms Adwoa Safo, MP for Dome Kwabenya; Mrs Ayorkor Botchway, MP for Anyaa Sowutuom; and Mrs Rosemond Aborah, MP for Weija Gbawe. However Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, MP for Okaikoi North us not seeking renomination.

There was hue and cry when the National Executive Committee of the party introduced an affirmative action to allow the female MPs to contest the parliamentary primaries slated for June 13 unopposed.

But the NPP had to beat a retreat when the national chairman of the party convened a meeting of the second highest body of the party after national congress, the National Council (NC), to overturn the affirmative action to allow others to contest the female MPs.

Uphill task

Reports reaching the Daily Graphic political desk from the Tema West Constituency indicate that three aspirants – two women and one man – are set to contest the primaries of the NPP.

They are Adwoa Amoako (Mrs), who, for the past 14 years, has rendered dedicated service as Assembly Member of the Wolei and Sakumono Electoral Areas; Mr. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah,a freight forwarding agent; and Irene Naa Torshie Addo, a legal practitioner and incumbent Member of Parliament as well as First Deputy Minority Chief Whip.

According to the party’s regulations, the three would go through a vetting exercise beginning today before the primaries on Sunday, June 13, 2015. About 83 delegates would decide the fate of the candidates.

Even before vetting begins, one of the aspirants, Mr. Ahenkorah, has threatened to go independent if the leadership of the party disqualifies him ahead of the primaries.

Speaking on Oman FM’s morning and evening programmes ‘National Agenda’ and ‘Boiling Point’ respectively, Mr. Ahenkorah claimed he had heard of moves to disqualify him during vetting.

“If the system uses anything against me and disqualifies me, I will have no option but to go independent. I hope it does not come to that because so far, there is nothing to show that I will be disqualified,” he told the host of the morning programme.

“The NPP won narrowly by just 950 votes in 2012 and the elders believe that if nothing is done, the party risks losing the seat in 2016,” he opined.

At Okaikoi North, where the incumbent, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, is not seeking re-election and is currently outside the country, the seat is now being contested by four aspirants, including a female, Miss Francisca Ayorkor Boateng Amponsem. The other contestants are Kenneth Adjei Kuranchie, Fuseini Issah and Seth Adjei Baah, alias Shaaba.

Relatedly, the Ablekuma West Constituency has not been left out of the parliamentary primary fever that has gripped some constituencies.

The incumbent MP, Mrs Ursula Ekuful, is facing fierce battle from two other aspirants, who have all picked nomination forms to contest the primaries.

They are Mr. Theophilus Nii Tettey, a former constituency chairman, and Mr. Robert Kwesi Nicol. A woman aspirant, Mrs Joyce Asumaning, and Mr. Bright Osei Puni have withdrawn from the contest. Mrs Asumaning explained that she was withdrawing to support the incumbent MP.

A former constituency organiser of the NPP at the Dome Kwabenya Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Mr. Isaac Amofa, has also filed his nominations to contest the incumbent, Miss Adwoa Safo, while at Anyaa Sowutuom one contestant, Mr. Dickson Adomako, has picked forms to fight it out with Mrs Ayorkor Botchway.

At Weija-Gbawe, as many as three aspirants have picked forms to contest Mrs Rosemond Aborah, They are Mrs Tina Mensah, Mr. Owusu Afriyie and Mr. Kofi Yamoah.

Background

The National Council varied the road map leading to the parliamentary primaries and fixed April 30 as the closing date for nominations. It also fixed May 4 to May 7 for the vetting of the aspirants and May 8 for the announcement of the results.

The aspirants have the opportunity to submit their views of the vetting to the regional offices on May 11, and if there are residual matters, they can be submitted to the national office for adjudication on May 13, 2015.

The NC also approved May 19, 2015, for the publication of the notice of polls in all the 275 constituencies in the country for the elections to take place on June 13.

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