Dear Mr President-Elect
Let me congratulate you on your election as President and wish you very well in your tenure of office. I have one concern, and I believe many people, especially those from your party’s stronghold regions, share this concern. If winning elections is about numbers, then I believe you should consider appointment from constituencies that delivered the highest popular votes to your party. I know many factors go into appointment of Ministers and co, but for our party to sustain our strength in key strongholds, one objective criteria should be consideration of vote contribution. I understand you repeated yourself to the then Parliamentary Candidates of your party that you will consider those who bring more votes and this is the time to honour your pledge. I know your list might be tall, there might be strong lobbying in the corridors but if I were you, respectfully, I will use this opportunity to create a convention whereby, as far as possible, all qualified MP-elects in say the first top 10 constituencies which delivered highest popular votes or reached a certain percentage level will be considered for appointment. This will challenge future candidates to do their best and it will inure to the political fortunes of your Party in future elections. This is a fine opportunity for NPP to fortify itself and introducing objective (or measurable) criteria in appointments will help to keep your supporters calm. I know people have made their pens ready to start categorising ministerial appointments into regions and tribes, and regions like Ashanti delivering 35% of your votes, will definitely be assessing where they stand.
Fortunately, my own analysis of the top 10 MPs-elect based on the published election results who delivered the highest popular votes suggest to me that almost 90% of them are very qualified in their own right and most of them have served the party in various capacities (leaders in parliament, former constituency chairmen, former ministers). It will be difficult for some of us to appreciate why such MPs cannot be considered.
For purposes of records, the first 10 in order of highest to lowest votes are Ms Francesca Oteng-Mensah (Kwabre East, Ashanti), 71,759; Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu (Suame, Ashanti), 65,260; Adwoa Safowaa (Dome/Kwabenya, Greater Accra), 63,488; Dr Emmanuel Marfo (Oforikrom, Ashanti), 62,659; Dr. Samiu Nuamah (Kwadaso, Ashanti), 61,631; Ms Patricia Apiagyei (Asokwa, Ashanti), 55,564; Nana Akua Owusu Afriyie (Ablekuma North, Greater Accra) 54,698; Shirley Ayorkor Botwey (Anyaa/Sowotuom) 54,165 Daniel Okyem Aboagye (Bantama) 50,717 and Joe Osei Owusu (Bekwai) 49,894.
Mr President, I know one may argue that my selection of the first 10 is subjective, why not first 5 or 20 but whatever it is, my humble and principled position is that going forward, there must be some sort of objective criteria based on contribution of votes in Presidential appointments. At least it minimises speculation of negative comments that characterise most appointments in the name of tribal bias, friends and family tags, factionalism etc.
Thank you for audience, Mr President-elect and your transition team.
The writer is a Concerned NPP Member in Kumasi
By Charles Kwabena Boahene,