Politics of Tuesday, 6 November 2012
One hundred and fifty two candidates made up of 140 males and 12 females have filed their nominations with the Electoral Commission (EC) to contest for 33 parliamentary seats in the Eastern Region.
Information available to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) indicated that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed to contest in all the 33 seats.
They were followed by the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) 26, National Democratic Party (NDP) and Convention Peoples Party (CPP) filing 14 each, Peoples National Convention (PNC) 10 and 17 independent candidates.
The NPP during the 2008 elections captured 20 of the 28 seats then in the region followed by the NDC who won seven seats and the only independent candidate, Seth Adjei Baah, captured the Nkawkaw constituency who later identified with the NPP in Parliament.
This year, despite the emergence of other political parties such as the NDP and the PPP perceived by the public to have made huge inroads in political terrain, the two political “giants”, the NPP and the NDC still maintained their stands by being the only parties contesting in all the 33 constituencies in the region.
Out of the 12 females contesting, the NPP has four contesting at Lower West Akyem, being represented by Gifty Klenam (incumbent), Abirem, Mrs Esther Obeng Dapaah (incumbent), Lower Manya Krobo, Dufie Dedo Agyarko Kusi and Atiwa East, Ms Abena Asare.
The NPP in 2008 presented three females who won their seats but Ms Beatrice B. Boateng, the Member of Parliament for New Juaben South, was defeated by a male counterpart at the primary and therefore failed to get the nod to represent the constituency in 2012.
In 2008, the CPP in 2008 put three women contested on their ticket in the region but all of them lost.
The NDC on the other hand has two females contesting the Akropong and Abirem seats by Madam Margaret Ansah and Mavis Ama Frimpong respectively. Ms Frimpong is the Birim North District Chief Executive.
The CPP, being represented by Janet Darfour, is contesting the Afram Plains South. PNC has two females; Beatrice Addo and Agnes Akweley Adorshie contesting Akropong and Upper West Akim seats.
Bernice Amoah Odoi is contesting on the ticket of the NDP at Okere, Bernice Terchi-Duku and Olivia Addo are contesting on the ticket of the PPP at Ofoase-Ayirebi and Nkawkaw respectively and Madam Matilda Doccuvi, an independent candidate, is contesting the Suhum seat.
Currently, there are only 17 women Members of Parliament out of the 230 parliamentarians and gender advocates had persistently called on political parties to reorganize their structures to enhance women’s efforts in contesting in competitive elections such as the parliamentary seats to be active in decision making.
A UN report recently cited Ghana to be one of the countries that have few women representatives in parliament.