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NPP primaries Affirmative action policy caused defeat of female MPs – Esther Obeng-Dapaah

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP, in March this year, announced the Affirmative Action policy to prevent males from contesting female MPs in sixteen constituencies.

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Hon. Esther Obeng-Dapaah play

Hon. Esther Obeng-Dapaah


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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Abirem constituency, Esther Obeng Dapaah, says all six sitting female legislators who lost in last Saturday’s New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) parliamentary primaries were victims of the party’s earlier announced affirmative action policy.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP, in March this year, announced the Affirmative Action policy to prevent males from contesting female MPs in sixteen constituencies.

The Minority Women’s Caucus in Parliament, in a press statement signed by Esther Obeng-Dapaah, its chairperson, urged NEC not to waver in its policy to fully implement the affirmative action policy. It also called on “all well-meaning Ghanaians to support the cause, to stand firm and join in the struggle to increase women’s participation in decision making.”

But majority of the members of the elephant family objected to its implementation leading to its suspension until further notice.

Honourable Obeng Dapaah explains that the female MPs lost their bid to contest for the 2016 parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP because their political opponents used their stance on the policy to campaign against them.

“What cost us dearly is the affirmative action policy that became controversial. In my case for instance, my opponent told the delegates that I was the originator of the affirmative action policy and also the one who signed it because I am the NPP Women Caucus leader so when that law is made to stand, the Abirem seat will be a no go area for any man. Most of the delegates are men and such pronouncement scared them. So, that is one of the major reasons why I lost the primaries,” she said.

Esther Obeng Dapaah polled 125 while Mr. John Frimpong Osei obtained 230 votes to win the mandate of the delegates.

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