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General News of Monday, 19 October 2020

Source: Happy 98.9FM

Replacing dead MPs with their wives won’t cure low female representation - Political parties advised

Editor of the Patriot Newspaper, Peter Bamfo has advised the various political parties against ‘forcing’ mourning widows from taking the place of their spouses in parliament regardless of it serving their purposes.

The newsman added that the act is also a vain attempt to encourage and increase women participation in active politics.

According to him, these parties forcing the grieving widows to contest parliamentary elections in a bid to win sympathy votes will, in the end, be to the detriment to their constituencies and the legislative arm of government.

Speaking with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show (Happy 98.9 FM and e.TV Ghana), Peter Bamfo said, “It is important that we do not let partisan politics ruin our culture. You can’t use this kind of situation to cure the challenge of low women representation in parliament”.

He noted that instead of political parties pushing the wives of deceased MPs to parliament, they (political parties) must allow the widows to mourn their husbands and come to terms with their deaths first before political ambitions are foisted on them.

Peter showing concern for citing the recent instance where Ophelia Hayford, wife of the late MP for Mfantseman Constituency, Ekow Hayford was asked to contest for the seat said, “From 1992 to date, the NPP has won the seat on only two occasions and if Ophelia is made to represent the party there, it is not automatic the NPP will win”.

He furthered that Ophelia had to resign from her job which provided security for the welfare of her kids after the party forced her to lead the constituency in the upcoming elections. And raised concerns of the welfare of her children should she lose in the December 7 polls.

“Does the NPP have a contingency fund to care for her kids should Ophelia lose the seat? Let us be interested in the future of the kids Ekow Hayford has left behind. It is very important the NPP and the family concentrate on giving him a decent burial”.

The Editor advised the NPP to consider giving the first runner up of the NPP primaries the opportunity to contest for the seat come December 7 rather than possibly risking the future of Ophelia Hayford and her kids.

In the run-up to the 2016 general elections, Linda Obenewaa Akweley Ocloo, was selected by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to step into the shoes of her late husband, Desmond William Ocloo, who was representing the NDC as their Parliamentary Candidate for Shai Osudoku.

The husband had, unfortunately, died on the spot in a road traffic accident in May 2016 in Juaso in the Asante Akyem South District of the Ashanti Region.

Lydia Seyram Alhassan, the MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon in Accra also succeeded her late husband Emmanuel Kyeremateng Agyarko who died while a sitting MP.

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