Some of the elected Council Of State members
The election of all 10 representatives from the various regions to the Council of State concluded yesterday with intriguing results.
All the elected persons were males, with the exception of the Western Region where a 52-year-old business woman won the slot. They will join 14 others appointed by President Akufo-Addo to complete the 25-seat council with the exception of a former Chief Justice, who is not readily available.
Earlier in the week, the Presidency released the names of President Akufo-Addo’s nominees including Juabenhene, Nana Otuo Siriboe and Dr Margaret Amoakohene of the School of Communication Studies, University of Ghana.
However, some high-profile individuals who were tipped to carry the day suffered humiliating defeats.
Some of the defeated aspirants are Mawerehene, Baffour Hyeaman Brantuo IV, who was said to enjoy the backing of the Manhyia Palace – the seat of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene; Ambassador Afare Apeadu Donkor, former Ghana’s Ambassador to China and Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, Kukuomhene and former President of the Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs.
In the Central Region, four prominent citizens were defeated in the race that was won by the vice president of the Regional House of Chiefs, Oberempong Appiah Nuamah II.
The defeated candidates were Ato Essuman, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Education and two-time member of the Council of State; Neenyi Ghartey, paramount chief of Effutu, Winneba; Nana Brew Butler, former chairman of the Ghana Football Association and Okatakyi Dr Amanfi, paramount chief of Asebu Traditional Area and lecturer at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The exercise, supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC), was dogged by last-minute withdrawals, notable among them was Enoch Teye Mensah, former National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ningo Prampram who wanted to be the Greater Accra Regional representative on the Council.
The Omanhene of the Yeji Traditional Area, who doubles as the President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Pimampim Yaw Kagbresse, also withdrew from the race at last-minute due to personal reasons.
E.T. Mensah’s entry sparked heated political debate, especially within his own party, with accusation of being a traitor; but he appeared to have doused the flame when at the eleventh hour, he backed out, citing personal reasons.
Even before E.T. Mensah withdrew from the contest, some opposition NDC activists had vehemently opposed his decision to vie for the position, raising questions about how a founding member of the opposition NDC would want to sit in council with its political rival, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
However, the veteran politician, who was also former Minister for Youth and Sports, justified his decision by saying that he had worked effectively with both members of the NPP and the NDC during his political life and was ready to continue his career on the council.
“If we are able to work together at the assembly level and in parliament, why not?” he justified his nomination.
However, after pulling out, the veteran politician said that the abuse he received, particularly on social media, was part of the reason for his withdrawal. He also said his grandchildren pleaded with him to bow out.
“In my constituency, they gave me the full support,” Mr E.T. Mensah told Citi FM, adding, “The reason why I have stepped down is what is being said around on social media and the formation of a non-existing Ga-Dangme Youth (group), who held a press conference opposing my candidature.
“I have the right to do what has to be done within the confines of the law. They do not have any right to do that but the language led to my grandchildren raising concerns about this.”
In the Ashanti Region, Nana Owusu Achiaw Brempong, the Agogo Akrofosohene, obtained 45 votes to beat the purported Manhyia-backed Mawerehene, Baffour Hyeaman Brantuo IV, who managed 5 votes and Robert Owusu Amankwah, a business executive and former Regional Chairman of the NPP, 10 votes.
There were 16 contestants in the region and 13 of them did not get a single vote.
In the Greater Accra Region, the CEO of Ideal Group of Companies, Nii Kotei Dzani, was declared winner after flooring 12 other aspirants.
He polled 20 votes to defeat his closest contender, Nene Atiapa III, Mankralo of Ningo who managed 12 votes and the rest all got zero.
Before the election at the Ga West Municipal Assembly Hall at Amasaman near Accra, two other candidates – Nene Teye Kwesi Agyemang V and Eric Asamani – had withdrawn from the contest alongside E.T. Mensah, former Ningo Prampram MP.
In the Central Region, the vice president of the Regional House of Chiefs, Oberempong Appiah Nuamah II, won with 11 votes.
In Eastern Region, Nana Somuah Mireku won the slot after the 63-year-old accountant had polled 26 out of the 52 votes cast to beat his closest contender, Ambassador Afare Apeadu Donkor, who had 23 votes.
Just before balloting commenced in Koforidua, the regional capital, two aspirants – Prof. SKB Asante and Nana Okrukata V – withdrew from the race, leaving nine in the contest.
A 73-year-old retired journalist Kwadwo Agyenim-Boateng emerged victorious in the Brong-Ahafo Region, polling 21 votes out of the 50 votes cast. He beat his closest rival, Nana Osei Yaw Barimah, who garnered 11 votes.
Kwadwo Agyenim-Boateng beat nine others- Agyapong Adu-Baah, 62, a businessman, Nana Afena Nketia II, 54, businessman, Nana Osei Yaw Barimah, 71, biochemist, Danso Kwadwo, 36 a farmer, James Kofi Kyeremeh, 61, tax administrator and Nana Ansah Adu Baah II, 65.
The rest are Kwadwo Yeboah, 64, businessman, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, 78, chartered surveyor and Kwasi Kyeremeh, 71, farmer.
Nana Yaw Osei Barimah followed closely with 11 votes while most of contestants got zero.
In the Western Region, Eunice Jacqueline Buah, polled 24 votes out of the 44 cast to beat five other aspirants.
Upper West Region
The President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton, emerged victorious in the region with 13 votes while his closest challenger, a 34-year-old accountant, had 7 and Gbankor Naa also managed to get two votes.
Robert Nachinab Doameng Mosoro, also known as Tongo Rana Kubilsong Nalebegtang, Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, polled 11 votes out of 26 votes cast.
At the close of nominations, about 113 candidates had filed for the contest but only six of them were females.
The Volta Region had the highest number of contestants – 21 people – followed by the Ashanti Region – 19; Greater Accra Region -16; Eastern Region, Brong-Ahafo Region and the Northern Region had 11 contestants each.
In the Upper East there were seven contestants. The Western and the Central Regions had six each while the Upper West had the least – five.
Two delegates, totaling 432, from each Metropolitan, Municipal and District assembly (216 MMDAs) formed the Electoral College to elect a regional representative.
The regional election was originally scheduled to be held on Thursday, February 9, but the EC had to postpone it until yesterday, to enable the MMDAs prepare adequately for the exercise.
The Council of State consists of one elected representative from each of the 10 regions and 11 others appointed by the president.
By Yaw Owusu with DAILY GUIDE Reporters