By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
It’s about 13 days to the Presidential and Parliamentary election in Ghana. The December 7, 2016 election will be the 7th Parliamentary elections to be held in the country since the 1992 Constitution came into existence.
Per the 1992 Constitution every four years, elections must be organized by the Electoral Commission (EC) in order to allow the voting public to elect their President and Parliamentarians.
Winning a Parliamentary seat is by a majority votes or a higher percentage obtained by a candidate, unlike the President who must get 50% plus a single vote cast. If none of the presidential candidate is able to get 50% plus one vote the law requires for a round-off to be organized for the two main candidates who had higher votes counted.
One of the interesting Parliamentary seats to watch come December 7 is the Klottey Korle seat especially between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidates. About five (5) candidates filed their nominations to contest the seat at the Klottey Korle.
The candidates were: Dr. Zenator Rawlings of the NDC, Lawyer Philip Addison of the NPP, Mr. Godwin Opare-Addo of Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr. Nii Noi Nortey, an Independent candidate and Madam Eva Lokko of Progressive People’s Party (PPP). Unfortunately, the PPP candidate, Madam Lokko passed away leaving only four candidates to contest the seat. All the candidates are contesting for the first time and they will be testing their popularity in the constituency.
Political analysts have predicted a keenly contest between Dr. Zenator Rawlings of the NDC and Lawyer Philip Addison of the NPP. Dr. Zenator Rawlings beats the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the constituency, Mr. Nii Armah Ashietey in the NDC parliamentary primary to represent the party. She won by 2,403 votes representing 62.22% while the incumbent also pulled 1,348 votes representing 34.90%. After the primary the incumbent challenged the voting eligibility of Dr. Rawlings and took the matter to court. But she later won the case.
While the NDC was battling to elect their Parliamentary candidate, the NPP was also going through a similar problem to elect its parliamentary representative for the constituency. The battle was between Mr. Nii Noi Nortey, a former constituency Chairman and Lawyer Philip Addison, a lawyer who led NPP to the 2012 election petition case at the Supreme Court.
Out of the six (6) Parliamentary elections held, the NDC as a party has won four (4) times while the remaining two (2) went to the NPP. In 1992 after the election, the entire NPP Parliamentarians across the country boycotted Parliament and for that matter the majority of the legislature only comprises member of the National Democratic Congress.
The NPP termed the 1992 election as a ‘stolen verdict’. The Klottey Korle seat was occupied by an NDC candidate in 1992.
In 1996 candidates that contested the seat were Mr. David Lamptey of the NDC who won the seat with 20,485 votes representing 26.20%. Tei Okunor, an Independent candidate came second with 17,205 votes representing 22.00%. The NPP candidate, Mr. Gilbert K. Quartey had 17,090 votes representing 21.90%.
After the election in 2000, Nii Adu Daku Mante of the NPP won the election with 29,240 votes representing 51.70% while David Lamptey of the NDC came second with 20,220 votes representing 35.70%.
In 2004, Nii Adu Daku Mante won the seat again. He increased the votes to 32,263 but his percentage dropped to 48.50% compared to what he had in 2000. The NDC had a new candidate in the person of Nii Armah Ashietey. In 2004, he pulled 30,351 votes representing 45.60%. He performed well than Mr. David Lamptey in 2000.
Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey won the seat in 2008 with 30,633 votes representing 50.60%. He beats Samuel J. Adjei Tawiah of NPP with about 2,622 votes. Adjei Tawiah had 28,011 votes representing 46.27%. Samuel J. Adjei Tawiah of NPP lost again in 2012 to the incumbent Hon. Nii Armah Ashietey. Hon. Ashietey secured 36,122 votes representing 48.55% to win the seat. His main contender, Adjei Tawiah had 34,847 votes representing 46.83%.
Interestingly, these candidates are not contesting the 2016 election and it makes it a level playing field for the candidates especially between the NDC’s Dr. Zenator Rawlings and NPP’s Lawyer Philip Addison, Godwin Opare-Addo, an Independent candidate, and Nii Noi Nortey who wins Klottey Korle Parliamentary seat?
The voters from nine (9) electoral areas will determine who will be elected as the Member of Parliament for the area comes December 7. The nine electoral areas are Asylum Down, Osu Kinkawe, North Adabraka, Odawna, Osu Alata, Tudu, Osu Ringway, Adabraka Official Town, and Osu Doku.
The former Chairman, Mr. Nii Noi Nortey won the first primary with 393 votes while Lawyer Philip Addison had only 22 votes. Mr. Nii Adjei Tawiah, a former NPP Parliamentary candidate pulled 19 votes. After the primary, the National Executive of the NPP annulled the election results and reorganized it. The re-election saw Lawyer Philip Addison winning by 396 votes while Nii Noi Nortey pulled 367 votes.
However, Mr. Nii Noi Nortey sued the NPP for possible cancelation of the results. But at the end of the judgment, it went in favour of Lawyer Addison. The development didn’t go down well with Mr. Nii Noi as he decided to contest as Independent and subsequently filed his nomination to contest this year’s election.
Even though Nii Noi seems to be having some level of supports in the constituency, a lot of people including political scientists see the battle between only Lawyer Addison and Dr. Zenator Rawlings. Both of them are new as far as elections in Klottey Korle are concerned.
Lawyer Addison is coming into this election as a candidate who led a team of lawyers for the NPP at the 2012 election petition case while Dr. Zenator is somehow riding on the popularity of her father, former President, Flt Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings.
However, some political scientists are also of the view that, Nii Noi Nortey who is coming from the camp of the NPP may pull a surprise and his votes may affect the votes of Lawyer Philip