29 November 2012

Ghana: Keen Contest for Nine Seats in C/R

Photo: AEP
President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is the candidate of the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 elections.

Cape Coast — With less than two weeks to the elections 2012, nine top parliamentary seats out of 23 in the region are likely to receive more attention than others, owing to the personalities involved.

The first among them is the Mfantseman West seat, where the Deputy Central Regional Minister, Thomas Aquinas Tawiah Quansah, faces stiff opposition from Mr. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, a former Information Minister. It is not an easy battle between the two contestants, but reports say Aquinas is ahead of the former minister.

It is then followed by the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem (KEEA) seat, which is said be occupied by only those with doctorate degrees. The battle for the KEEA seat has become very controversial, following the entrance of Dr. Ato Quarshie, former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament, as an independent candidate, after losing in a primary against Dr. Joseph Samuel Annan.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has Nana Dr. Ato Arthur, who recently received his Doctorate Degree in governance from Bonne University in Germany, is the candidate who has a large following.

Currently, most of the NDC supporters are following Dr. Ato Quarshie, whose good works from 1992 to 2004 are still fresh in the minds of the people, and is likely to win the seat, as most of the executives of the NDC are campaigning for him, leaving Dr. Annan, Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, to his fate.

However, this situation provides an opportunity for Dr. Ato Arthur to slip through the chasm created by Dr. Quarshie and Dr. Annan, to win the seat in the December 7 poll.

Another hot spot under media watch is the Cape Coast North seat, where the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Dr. Mrs. Henrietta Abane, challenges the NDC's Ebo Barton Odro, Deputy Attorney General and Minister of Justice, for the new seat. As at now the seat has become unpredictable as to who would win.

However, political analysts say Cape Coast North is the stronghold of the NPP, as the electorates at the University of Cape Coast and Cape Coast Polytechnic have been massively voting for the party, therefore, they are of the view that NPP can win the seat.

Cape Coast South would also come under the media spot, as two new faces from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP namely, Rickett Kweku Hagan and Alfred George Kojo Thompson, are battling for the seat for the first time.

Here, analysts say, the seat is likely to go to NDC, because of dominant of fisher folks in the constituency, who always vote in favour of the ruling party.

Besides that, the spotlight would also be on Awutu Senya West, where Ms. Hannah Tetteh, Trade and Industry Minister, has to surmount the threat posed by the NPP candidate, Solomon Abam Quaye, former District Chief Executive of the area during former President Kufuor's Administration. It is another dicey battle, but Hannah Tetteh seems to have the upper hand.

In the Effutu Constituency of Winneba, there is already a fierce battle for the seat, causing injuries to followers of the incumbent NDC candidate, Mr. Mike Allen Hammah, who is also the Minister for Land and Natural Resources, and the NPP's Afenyo Markins.

The two are engaging in give and take campaigns, but some of the constituents have called on them to exercise restraint to prevent violence during the election.

Mike Hammah is likely to retain the seat, following his recent intervention in the distribution of outboard motors through MASLOC, which has boosted his chances, while the proposed construction of a fishing harbour at Winneba by the government is another factor to propel Hammah to be part of the 275 capacity Parliament next year.

The Agona West seat, which has been occupied by Mr. Samuel Obodai of the NPP for the past 12 years, is expected to receive media attention.

Mr. Obodai is being challenged by the NDC's Obeng Nkum, as the battle intensifies a few days to the poll. Obodai has mounted a strong defence for his fourth time bid, with vigorous campaigning.

Agona West is a NPP stronghold, but the fielding of Nkum, an Agona indigene, is likely to have a great effect on Obodai. It is very difficult to predict, but December 7 would tell who will emerge victorious.

Another interesting seat the media would focus attention on is Assin South, where the District Chief Executive (DCE), Mrs. Georgina Appiah Kubi, is scheming to unseat veteran Professor Dominic Kweku Fobih, who has occupied it since 1996.

The DCE, known among the people as 'Ms Malaika,' due to the smart way she dresses, is banking on her achievements to win the seat. But, it is very difficult for one to predict, because the Assin South seat has been dominated by the NPP since 1996.

Finally, the media spot light would be on the Assin Central seat, where the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Antwi Bosiako of the NDC, is sorting out with the NPP's Ohene Kennedy Agyapong, who has occupied the seat since 1996.

Bosiako closed the gap in the last election, and is counting on his achievements in the past four years as MCE to boot out the NPP incumbent MP.

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