Some appointees of the Akufo-Addo administration in the Ashanti Region seem to have taken an early slot as parliamentary candidates for the 2020 elections.
As the sunsets on the vetting of candidates to represent the New Patriotic Party in Parliament, it has emerged that some ministers who double as members of Parliament, will be contesting the party’s parliamentary primaries unopposed.
The only contenders they would have to battle with are those from the opposition parties.
A list of 106 recommended parliamentary aspirants in the Ashanti region released by the party’s vetting committee showed that 10 Ministers / MPs had already secured their places on the ballot papers, barring any unforeseen circumstance.
Before the vetting, some aspirants seeking to contest some bigwigs in the party perspired to get forms to officially announce their candidature for the internal race, which in the Ashanti Region is the main race to become an MP.
Some incumbents appeared to be avoiding the competition before the main election. The party’s leader in Parliament Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; and the First Deputy Speaker, Joe Osei Owusu, did not mince words in insisting that the party needed to protect them against the internal contest that had sometimes produced shocking results, of unknown names flooring big names.
With the party choosing to protect their female MPs in the region, only a few dared to contest female MPs.
Here are 10 names in the Ashanti Region going unopposed in the party’s April 25 primaries.
Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Suame
Comically referred to as Suame Mugabe, for the number of years he has been in Parliament, Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu is also Majority leader in the 7th Parliament and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs.
He has been serving as MP for Suame since January 1997, making him one of the longest-serving MPs after A.S.K Bagbin, an NDC MP who has been in Parliament since 1992.
The Suame MP said he would bow out of Parliament in 2025. John Darko, the Majority Leader’s only contender, was disallowed the opportunity to pick nomination forms.
The party’s decision to allow him(the Majority Leader) to go unopposed was met with stiff opposition from some party members. But that did not deter the party from doing as planned.
Kyei Mensah Bonsu had said it would be suicidal if the ruling party, NPP, allowed other aspirants to contest him in the upcoming primaries.
Francisca Oteng-Mensah, Kwabre East
Miss Oteng-Mensah was the youngest MP to have won a seat in the 7th Parliament.
At 27, she is not only the youngest politician in the house, but also the Board Chair of the National Youth Authority (NYA).
Miss Oteng-Mensah is MP for Kwabre East and has no contender for the 2020 election.
Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh
Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, who is MP for Manhyia South, is one of the men in Akufo-Addo’s government going unopposed.
He is a three-term Member of Parliament who first entered the house in 2008.
NAPO, as he is popularly called, has not declared when he intended to bow out of Parliament.
Patricia Appiagyei, Asokwa
Mrs Patricia Appiagyei is MP for Asokwa, and a Deputy Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
She was the first female Mayor for the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA).
When President Akufo-Addo said ‘we have the men,’ he certainly did not exempt Madam Appiagyei even though she is not a man.
Joe Osei Owusu, Bekwai
He is the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and MP for Bekwai. Mr Osei Owusu is also a three-term MP.
He was former CEO of the Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority.
Joe Wise, as he is widely known, first entered Parliament in 2009 as an independent MP.
Mr Osei Owusu resigned from the NPP after he lost the primary and wrested the seat from the then incumbent, Kofi Poku-Adusei, who defeated him by a single vote in the party’s primary.
Kwasi Amofa Agyemang, who had wanted to unseat Mr Osei Owusu in this year’s primary was disqualified.
Collins Ntim, Offinso-North
Collins Ntim is a Deputy Local Government minister. He is also seeking to retain his Offinso North seat.
Unlike his boss at the ministry, Hajia Halima Mahama, who is vocal and often the voice of the ministry, Mr Ntim, on the quiet side, is among the President’s men to go unopposed.
William Owuraku Aidoo, Afigya Kwabre South
William Owuraku Aidoo represents the people of Afigya Kwaabre South. He is also a Deputy Minister of Energy in charge of Power.
He first entered Parliament in 2013.
With his position in the power sector, he may have the power to retain his seat come December 2020.
Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum
Often praised as a great voice on educational issues, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum is a first-term MP.
He is currently the MP for Bosomtwe and is tightly holding on to the seat.
It will suffice to say he has already secured his place in the next Parliament (8th) since his area is a sure banker for the ruling NPP.
George Oduro, New Edubiase
Meet another ‘man’ in the government, George Oduro. He is a Deputy Agriculture Minister and MP for New Edubiase.
A first-term MP, another shot at the position is guaranteed since he is doing a solo run in the primary.
Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Atwima Mponua
Last on the list is Sports Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah. He was not left out on the list of appointees to go unopposed.
A vocal MP on sports in his days in opposition, he entered Parliament in January 2005 as MP for Atwima Mponua and is highly likely to remain so until January 2025.