Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Ransford Gyampo, has kicked against the pattern of spouses succeeding their deceased husbands/wives as parliamentary candidates and members of parliament.
According to him, this new trend can make spouses plot to murder as a means of getting selected to parliament.
He made this in relation to the recent selection of the widow of the late Member of Parliament for Mfrantseman, Ophelia Quansah as a replacement of her husband to represent the New Patriotic Party in the December 2020 polls.
“We must also be careful not to perpetuate this precedent. Else, very soon, some unscrupulous people who have marital issues with their spouse may be plotting murder as a means of getting selected to parliament,” he indicated.
He further stated that “we must be in the know that the practice of asking widows to replace their dead husbands in parliament may be dangerous and soon undermine quality representation, particularly, if the only driving force to push a certain segment of the citizenry to parliament is the loss of their spouse”.
Touching on the downside of Madam Ophelia’s nomination, he said “amounts to a sheer political convenience that extols the dogmas of partisan selfishness, and disregards the interest of widows and surviving children”
He also touched on what could be some of the “politically wise” aspects of the decision which includes the NPP appealing to sympathy to secure a parliamentary seat in which the party’s occupancy is not too secured going into the December polls.
“It also sacrifices our culture and customary protocols for political expedience. Widows and family members who go through such experience are denied the right of mourning their loved ones just because a group of people needs a certain parliamentary seat at all costs,” he stated in part of his assessment.
He further called on political parties to as part of their quest for political power, ensure that the nation is not ushered into “a regime of sacrificing timeless principles, institutions, rules, customs, and traditions for political expediencies”.
Last week, the Member of Parliament for Mfantseman, Ekow Hayford Quansah, was murdered by suspected robbers.
Following his death, the New Patriotic Party has settled on the wife of the deceased as his replacement for the upcoming elections.
This is not the first time, as in 2018 it can be recalled that Member of Parliament (MP) Ayawaso West Wuogon,
Emmanuel Kyerematen Agyarko died after battling with Gall bladder disease three months.
After his death his wive’s, battled for his seat until the second one Lydia Alhasaan Won the spot and represented the husband in Parliament.
This is now looking like the new normal.
By: Naa Ayorkor Laryea