Ghana elections: Ministers, MPs, party chieftains defeated

With the certified results so far released by Ghana’s Electoral Commission, six ministers, nine members of parliaments and party stalwarts have been consumed in the fiercely contested general election held last Sunday.

The final results are now a subject of uncertainty, particularly for the ruling party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), with the possibility of a run-off in the presidential race looming.

The election, which has so far panned out as a straight contest between NPP and National Democratic Congress (NDC), has also claimed casualties in other parties.

Although the full results are yet to be released, the ones so far released show a keenly contested election between the NPP and NDC with each claiming victory in their strongholds.

Yesterday, the ECOWAS Observers Team led by former Nigerian military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, at a press conference, said the Ghana election was devoid of fraud.

He said from the voting process, identification of voters, the secrecy of the ballot, reconciliation, counting, announcement and endorsement of results at the polling stations, the elections were free, peaceful, transparent and credible.

But the Ghanaian Vice-President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, told THISDAY last night that his ruling party was optimistic of victory, notwithstanding the pockets of lead recorded in some parts of the country by the opposition. He said such situations were not unexpected given the fact that some were strongholds of the opposition.

Results so far recorded seem to dim hopes for the NPP. For instance, NPP’s Kwadwo Opare-Hammond would not make it to the next parliament having failed to retain his seat in the Adenta Constituency in the Greater Accra region. Opare-Hammond, who had 16,646, was beaten to the seat by NDC’s Kojo Adu-Asare who managed to poll 20,230.

In Krowor and Ledzokuku Constituencies in Accra, the NPP ceded their seats to the NDC. Deputy Health Minister, Gladys Norley Ashitey, failed to keep her Ledzokuku Constituency seat after polling 30,622. But Nii Nortey Duah of NDC won the seat with 42,087.

At Mfantseman West, Information and National Orientation Minister, Stephen Asamoah Boateng lost his seat to NDC’s Aquinas Quansah, while in Gomoa West Constituency; NPP’s Joe Kingsley Hackman also lost his to the NDC candidate, Francis Kojo Arthur.

The results were 12,511 and 15,985 respectively.

Samuel Owusu-Agyei, Minister for Public Sector Reform and NPP’s MP for Efutu in the Central Region, lost his seat to the NDC’s Mike Allen Hammah. The incumbent polled 12,010 votes against Hammah’s 15,124.

But at Nanton, Northern Region, Alhaji Abdul-Karim of NPP, toppled NDC’s Alhaji Alhassan Yakubu, polling 6,868 votes as against 6,177 for the incumbent.

NPP’s former General-Secretary, Dan Botwe, won the Okere constituency of the Eastern Region with 11,974.

His closest runner up, Addo George Opare of the NDC, polled 6,729. In a close contest for the Korle Klottey seat, the incumbent, NDC’s Ishmael Ashitey narrowly edged out NPP’s Samuel Adjei Tawiah, polling 30,633 as against 28,011 by Tawiah.

Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing and the MP for Salaga, Alhaji Boniface Sadique Abubakar, also lost to the NDC’s Abubakari Ibrahim. He polled 16,033, while the NDC candidate polled 19,079.

Seth Adjei-Baah, popularly known as Shaaba, an independent candidate, beat the incumbent NPP MP for Nkawkaw Constituency, Kwabena Adusa Okerchiri. Shaaba polled 19,757 votes to defeat the incumbent who had 14,376 votes.

The second deputy speaker of parliament and NPP candidate for Yendi, Alhaji Malik Al-Hassan Yakubu, also lost his seat to NDC’s candidate, Sulemana Ibn Iddrisu Jr. The NDC candidate polled 10,831 while the incumbent had 10,214. Also, Deputy Minister for Education and Sports, Angelina Baiden-Ammisah, lost her Shama seat to NDC’s Kwadwo Essilfie.

Former Health Minister in President John Kufuor’s first administration and PNC’s candidate for Sisala East, Moses Dani-Baah, lost his seat to NDC candidate, Alhassan Hulutie. Freddie Blay, first deputy speaker of parliament and an incumbent member of parliament for Ellembele Constituency popularly known as Ellembele Mugabe, also lost his election. Lee Ocran, a member of parliament for the Jomoro Constituency, lost out in the election to Samia Nkrumah, the daughter of Ghana’s first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

Gowon, during his world press conference where he handed ECOWAS preliminary declaration, also commended the electoral commission in Ghana, saying it had done a very good job.

“The electoral commission has so far discharged its duties with commendable competence, fairness and firmness. Indeed, the ECOWAS observer mission is of the view that the EC has, up to the time of compiling this report, lived up to its motto of transparency, fairness and integrity.

“As it is the case with all contests, the ECOWAS mission is not under any illusion to discount the possibility of disputes and legal challenges with regard to the outcome of the polls. In such eventuality, however, the mission urges all aggrieved parties to employ exclusively peaceful and constitutional means to seek redress,” he said.

The ECOWAS mission promised to closely observe the concluding phases of the process, particularly the collation and declaration of results which was yet to be completed at press time. It also promised to handle whatever disputes that emanate from the declaration of results as well as make further declaration if the need arises.

ECOWAS team also offered preliminary recommendations based on its observation of the Sunday elections. It urged government to encourage the participation of women and youth in the political process. It also suggested that as a way of reducing the long queues in future elections, the electoral commission should increase the number of booths and polling station with corresponding staff.

Gowon said their field reports suggested that the elections were keenly contested in all the 230 constituencies, commending the government, electoral commission, political parties and the people of Ghana for their determination for and commitment to the electoral success of Sunday. The mission also urged the electoral body to maintain its neutrality by adhering to constitutional provisions in executing the rest of its responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the Vice-President has maintained that his party would coast home with victory at the end of the day, adding that the election has been keenly contested because the people of Ghana have exhibited their independence and right to choose their choice candidates. He said he was optimistic because his party had been pro-masses and had done the wishes of the people in the last eight years.

Mahama said for “a responsible and responsive administration” that had sustained development for eight years, the NPP would not have problems winning the elections, even though it seemed a tight race. The Vice-President said this at an informal gathering during the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir at his residence in Accra, Ghana.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro, also told the Nigerian media on the nation’s observation of the Ghana election.

Obanikoro, who said he was impressed with the conduct of the election also agreed that  Nigeria has a lot to learn from Ghana and commended all the Ghanaian institutions that contributed to the success of the elections.

While urging the media to take its place in the nation’s democratic process, Obanikoro noted that the role the Ghanaian media played in the success of the election was massive and added that their Nigerian counterparts should borrow a leaf from them.

Source: This Day

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