The COVID-19 pandemic has halted many political activities in an election year which should have been bustling with political campaigns, election of candidates and all the euphoria associated with politics.
But for this pandemic, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) would have elected its parliamentary candidates in constituencies where the party has sitting Members of Parliament (MP).
In the Eastern Region, one constituency that would have been interesting is Akwatia where the sitting MP, Mercy Adu Gyamfi aka Ama Sey, is being challenged by three men — Bernard Owiredu Donkor, Ernest Yaw Kumi, and Robert Boateng Ampratwum.
The Akwatia parliamentary seat is one of the swing seats in the country. The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has won the seat on two occasions — 1992 and 1996 — before Mr Kingston Akomeng Kissi, current Eastern Regional Chairman of the NPP, snatched it in 2000 for the NPP.
The NPP maintained the seat from 2000 to 2008 until it lost it to the NDC in 2012. The late Dr. Kofi Asare, the NPP’s former MP who succeeded Mr. Kissi after the latter had voluntarily opted out of Parliament, lost the seat to the NDC’s Baba Jamal in 2012.
Dr. Asare won the seat narrowly in 2008 in an election that was marred by an allegation of ballot box snatching in some six polling stations, leading to a re-run of six polling stations following a Supreme Court ruling.
Ama Sey defeats Baba Jamal
Before the general election, the NPP was to present a candidate who could defeat lawyer Baba Jamal, then Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.
Ms. Adu Gyamfi, who had then been appointed as the party’s Constituency Women’s Organiser following the promotion of Kate Gyamfua, then Constituency Women’s Organiser, to a Deputy National Women’s Organiser, put herself up for the contest against Dr. Asare, and Philip Kofi Ankomah, an electrical engineer, who had unsuccessfully contested in the party’s primary on four occasions.