All Eyes On Naa Torshie, Philip Addision

The New Patriotic Party is set to hold parliamentary primaries, tomorrow, in seven additional constituencies to elect parliamentary candidates for the 2016 general elections. The constituencies are Klottey Korle, Tema West, Tema Central, Obom-Domeabra, Kintampo North, Juaben and Kwesimintsim.

If the party successfully holds the primaries in all the seven constituencies tomorrow, it will be left with 13 more to complete the whole exercise.

In tomorrow’s primaries, all eyes are on the Tema West and Klottey Korle constituencies in view of the personalities involved and fierce nature of the contests.

Irene Naa Torshie Addo, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Tema West, is seeking re-election against a stiff opposition from Carlos Ahenkorah, while renowned legal practitioner Philip Addison is seeking to represent the NPP in the Klottey Korle constituency.

Tema West

In the Tema West constituency, the incumbent Irene Naa Torshie Addo appears to be facing a contest of her life, especially coming against the fresh, but well known candidate, Carlos Ahenkora, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Carloking Services. The other candidate is Adwoa Amoako.

Mr Ahenkorah was initially disqualified from the contest on grounds of not having nurtured the constituency. He was later cleared to contest the primaries by the leadership of the party, after the case had eventually landed in court.

Naa Torshie first entered Parliament in 2009 after contesting and winning the parliamentary elections on the ticket of the NPP in 2008. In the party’s primaries held ahead of the 2008 general elections, she defeated one of the pillars of the party, Abraham Osei Aidoo, the then Member of Parliament for the area and the Majority Leader in Parliament. Mr Osei Aidoo polled 37 votes as against 55 obtained by Naa Torshi Addo.

Today, Naa Torshie, who is serving her second term as MP, occupies the position of the Deputy Minority Chief Whip in Parliament while Mr Ahenkora, who is the immediate past president of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, is putting up a spirited attempt to unseat her.

In 2008, after Naa Torshie Addo, then Ghana's Deputy Ambassador to the United States of America, had won the primaries, then Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, expressed shock over the loss of his then boss, Abraham Osei-Aidoo, and linked his colleague's defeat to an “attempted coup on government”.
Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, now the Minority Leader, who did not understand why a sitting Majority Leader could be voted against, described the development as “not the best”.

“The Majority Leader, don't forget, is the leader of government business in Parliament, so if he loses, one will say that it amounts to coup attempt against government in the House,” he remarked in a radio interview.
He added: “I am sorry; those who voted perhaps didn't know the full implications of what they did”.
The statement by Mr Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu elicited a sharp response from the then newly elected parliamentary candidate, Irene Naa Torshie Addo, who insisted that with or without Abraham Osei-Aidoo, parliamentary business could go on perfectly.

She added at the time that the NPP was full of capable men and women and so the absence of the incumbent MP from Parliament would not affect the party in any way.

Exactly eight years after suffering what appeared a painful defeat in the hands of a fresh entrant, Mr Abraham Aidoo appears to be seeking revenge by supporting Carlos Ahenkorah in his attempt to defeat the incumbent MP in tomorrow’s primaries.

In the last parliamentary primaries ahead of the 2012 general elections, Naa Torshi contested unopposed as the only person who declared his intentions to contest against her, one Dr. Antwi was disqualified by the national executives of the party.

Klottey Korle

Much attention is also being focused on the primaries in the Klottey Korle constituency in view of the personality of Philip Addison, a private legal practitioner, who was shot into prominence for the role he played as the lead counsel for the NPP in the 2012 Presidential Election Petition trial at the Supreme Court.

The primary appears to have been reduced to a contest between him and the former party Chairman in the constituency, Nii Noi Nortey, though the party’s candidate in the 2012 general elections, Adjei Sowah, is also seeking to maintain his slot.

Attempts were initially made to disqualify Nii Noi Nortey who had been accused of submitting a fake certificate from the University of Ghana to the party’s vetting committee, an allegation he has vehemently denied.