31 January 2019

Ghana: Ayawaso West Wuogon Goes to the Polls Today

The Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in Accra will be the centre of attention today as constituents go to the polls to find a replacement for their late Member of Parliament (MP), Mr Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko .

Four political parties, comprising the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Progressive People's Party (PPP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) are set to battle it out for the vacant seat.

The NPP is represented by Ms Lydia Seyram Alhassan, a widow of the late MP, NDC represented by Kwasi Delali Brempong with William Dowokpor and Clement Boadi vying on the tickets on the PPP and LPG respectively.

Since 1992, the jostling for the Ayawaso West Wuogon seat has been primarily between the NPP and NDC with the former winning five times while the latter has won it twice.

History is bound to be made irrespective of whoever emerges winner of the by-election today.

A victory for NPP would be the sixth consecutive time the party would be consolidating its stronghold on the seat since it first laid its hands on it for the first time in 2000.

If the NDC is able to grab the seat, it would have broken the jinx aside from clocking a third time victory while for the PPP and LPG, it would be the first time having a feel of the seat should they win.

The election could be described as a 'midterm examination' for the ruling NPP as a victory could be interpreted as a tap on the back of the party for its good work and a defeat, a slap in the face to check itself.

The victory of the NDC could be an indication that Ghanaians had not totally written them off and could spur them on to wrestle power from the NPP in the 2020 election.

Ms Alhassan's candidature is a delicate twirl in the plot as the party has been accused of hinging its hopes on what has been christened in the country as 'sympathy votes', by filing a widow of the previous occupier of the seat.

She being the only female candidate in the race, sandwiched by three men, according to political pundits, would have the most advantage. She is the sixth female to contest the seat and would be the third to ascend it should she win.

Should the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituents decide to depart from the NPP/NDC pattern and try a different party, Mr Dowokpor of PPP has been tipped to pull a surprise. He is contesting the seat for the fourth successive time since 2008; once for the CPP and thrice for the PPP.

In 1992, Mr Francis Napoleon K. Kumah of the National Convention Party (NCP) won the seat. It is considered the first victory for the NDC since the two parties struck an alliance.

Rebecca Akweley Adotey of the NDC, in 1996 beat George Isaac Amoo of the NPP, Andrews La-Anyane of the People's National Convention (PNC), Jane Chinebuah of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and an independent candidate, Joyce Abla Tamakloe, to ascend the seat.

The NDC lost the seat to Mr George Isaac Amoo of the NPP in the 2000 election, giving the NPP its first time victory. NDC was represented by Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah. In the race were Jane Chinebuah of the CPP, Mary Elsie Yirenkyi of the National Reform Party (NRP), and Samuel Addy of the PNC.

In 2004, the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare, won the seat for the NPP after contesting with Samuel Adiepena, NDC, Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the CPP, and Henry Haruna Asante of the PNC.

Madam Opare stood on the ticket of the NPP again in 2008 and defeated three men; Albert Kwadwo Twum Boafo of the NDC, William Dowokpor and Henry Haruna Asante of the CPP and PNC respectively.

In 2012, the late Agyarko of the NPP took the victory baton from Madam Opare and conquered Kwame Awuah-Darko of the NDC; William Dowokpor, PPP; Antisem Donkor, CPP, Foster Apetor of the National Democratic Party (NDP) and Henry Haruna Asante.

The NPP's grip over the seat was consolidated in 2016 as the late Agyarko again overcame Delali Kwasi Brempong, NDC, William Dowokpor, PPP and Kweku Quansah of the CPP.

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