L-R: Tina Mensah, Jessica Manuel and Obuobia Darko-Opoku
By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The all-female parliamentary contest in the Weija-Gbawe constituency will be a keen contest as election watchers have predicted the battle will not be an easy one. .
The contest is among the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, Obuobia Darko-Opoku; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Tina Mensah and Jessica Adwoa Manuel Simpson from the Progressive People’s Party (PPP).
The two-time aspirants; Obuobia Darko-Opoku and Jessica Adwoa Manuel Simpson of the PPP are facing Tina Mensah who is a fresh candidate riding on the success of the NPP in that constituency.
However, pollsters have limited the battle between the NDC candidate, Obuobia Darko- Opoku and Tina Mensah of the NPP.
A Pollster and Elections Expert, Ben Ephson has already predicted that the NDC will not wrestle the seat currently occupied by the largest opposition. A prediction rejected vehemently by the NDC candidate.
Mr. Ephson who is also the Managing Editor of The Daily Dispatch Newspaper disclosed this after a survey he conducted about five months ago in and around Ga South municipality which include the Weija-Gbawe constituency. “Our journalist friend Obuobia Darko-Opoku will lose the Weija-Gbawe seat,” Ben Ephson stated.
However, there are others who also believe the five months old cannot reflect the current situation on the ground. Both candidates are said to have provided some social intervention projects to the people in the area and these might change the voting pattern in 2016.
Out of the six (6) Parliamentary elections held, both the NDC and the NPP had equal share. The New Patriotic Party won three (3) times whereas the NDC also enjoyed it thrice.
The National Democratic Congress took over the seat in 1992 till it was taken over by the New Patriotic Party from 2004 to 2012. The 2016 election will therefore be the determinant of the party who leads in the number of years in rulership as far as the Weija-Gbawe constituency is concerned.
The 1996 election saw the NDC’s Madam Margaret Clarke Kwesie winning with 52.20%, representing 49,758 votes cast. The second was Eric Busby Quartey Papafio of NPP with 19,180 votes, representing 20.10%. Jesse Nii Adu Commey Randolp of Convention People’s Party (CPP) had 3,092 votes which was 3.20% while Daniel Addoquaye Pappoe of People’s National Convention (PNC) had 2,416 votes, representing 2.50%.
In 2000, Ernest Attoquaye Armah of NDC won the seat with 41,745 votes, representing 53.80%. The NPP candidate, Samuel Nee-Aryeetey Attah came second with 30,425 votes, representing 39.20%. Therma Lantey Lamptey of CPP had 3.20% with 2,510 votes while Abraham Lartey Joe of National Reform Party (NRP) pulled 1,556 votes representing 2.00%. Daniel Addoquaye Pappoe of PNC had 1.30% with 1,035 votes and Edward Osei Bonsu of United Ghana Movement (UGM) recorded 335 votes representing 0.40%.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey of NPP took over the seat in 2004. She won by 76,995 votes, representing 58.60%. Her main contender, John Caeser Ahiabor of the NDC pulled 44,223 votes, representing 33.70%. Rev. Fred Nii Adjetey Larbie, an Independent candidate took the third position with 6,174, representing 4.70% while John Amekah of GCPP had 2,157 votes, representing 1.60%.
Emmanuel Nii Sackey of CPP also had 1,356 votes, representing 1.00%. Meanwhile, Isaac Nii Otoo Otoo of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) had 374 votes, representing 0.30%.
In 2008, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey of NPP retained the seat with 63,371 votes, representing 52.32%. Sheriff Nii Otto Dodoo of NDC had 51,961 votes, representing 42.90% while Joshua Nee Sackey Oku of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) pulling 3,581 votes, representing 2.96%. Osman Ahmed Okyere of CPP had 2,105 votes, representing 1.74% and Isaac Nii Otoo Otoo had 113 votes, representing 0.09%.
Before the 2012 election, the constituency was divided into three. They are; Ngleshie Amanfrom, Anyaa Sowutoum and Weija-Gbawe. Rosemond Comfort Abrah of the NPP won the seat with 32,862 votes, representing 53.59%. She beats Obuobia Darko-Opoku who was contesting for the first time.
Obuobia Darko-Opoku had 25,899 votes, representing 43.87%. Jessica Adwoa Manuel Simpson of PPP had 739 votes, representing 1.21%. New Vision Party (NVP) candidate, Daniel Nkansah Boahene had 627 votes, representing 1.02% while Mohammed Frimpong of NDP and Savour Gbedze of PNC had 124 and 72 votes, representing 0.20% and 0.12% respectively.
Per the analysis of the trends above, which party will be declared winner of the Weija-Gbawe constituency? Is it Madam Tina Mensah of NPP or Obuobia Darku-Opoku of the NDC or Jessica Manuel of the PPP? That is left for the constituents to decide on December 7.