This weekend, the NPP will hold its parliamentary primary for the Ablekuma West constituency to elect its candidate ahead of the November 2016 polls. This follows several episodes of confusion thus causing a delay. The crux of the misunderstanding is over the voter’s register.
Within the constituency lies one of Accra’s oldest and most populous settlements; Dansoman. Some neighbourhoods include Sahara, Gbebese, Agege and Shiabu. The Ablekuma area is split equally between the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Ablekuma Central and South parliamentary seats are held by the NDC while Ablekuma West and North are held by the NPP. This is representative of the situation in the Greater Accra Region at large where the race between both parties is very tight.
Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the incumbent, is running against two others, Teo Tettey and Roni Nicole. The race is thought to be between Owusu and Nicole.
Its relatively brief history shows that the one who wins the party’s nomination has an incredibly high chance of winning the seat in November since the party has a commanding share of votes in the constituency.
In 2012, Ursula Owusu beat the NDC’s Victoria Hamah convincingly by winning 36,975 votes representing 58.22% of the total valid votes. Hamah managed 26,153 (41.18%), Perry Senyo (Progressive Peoples Party) won 291 (0.46%) while Daniel Noye (People’s National Congress) won 55 (0.09). Magnus Asiamah Bekoe of the National Democratic Party cupped it all with 40 votes representing 0.06%.
With a staggering 10% difference coupled with the Ghanaian electorate rarely changing its voting patterns in parliamentary elections, the winner of the NPP’s nomination appears to be set to be in the chamber in January 2017. Since getting into parliament, Ursula Owusu (the favourite) has been one of the most outspoken members of the opposition on the floor. She is highly critical of the governing party; previously describing its leaders on a television show as “clueless, visionless and purposeless.” This quote, after it was used as a montage made Ursula very popular.
The 52 year old lawyer is a regular pundit on political shows on radio and television in Ghana which has seen her grow into a household name in the country. She is a prominent feminist and child activist. In 2014, she was a leading critic of fellow MP Nelson Abudu Bani after he suggested that women who committed adultery should be stoned.
In 2015, she was seen as one of the female MPs that the leadership of the NPP wanted to protect with its affirmative action policy.
The policy which was subsequently cancelled would have made it impossible for any contestant to contest sitting female MPs in a bid to make the party’s parliamentary caucus less macho.