Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana, Ransford Edward Gyampo, has cautioned that the precedent of spouses succeeding their deceased husbands/wives as parliamentary candidates and members of parliament has the potential to make some unscrupulous persons plot murder as a means of getting selected to parliament. “very soon, some unscrupulous people who have marital issues with their spouse, may be plotting murder as a mean of getting selected to parliament”- Prof. Gyampo said in a statement.
Following the demise of the member of parliament (MP) for the Mfantseman Constituency, the late Hon Ekow Quansah Hayford, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has settled on the widow, Mrs. Ophelia Hayford, to be the Party’s Parliamentay Candidate for the upcoming December 7 elections.
The practice follows a similar incident in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency where now Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan was selected to represent the NPP in the by-election that followed the death of his husband and the then MP, the late Hon. Emmanuel Boakye Agyarko.
It is worth emphasizing, however, that Prof. Gyampo does not fault the NPP for such a tactical move, given the swinging nature of the Mfantseman seat. ” In such a situation, where a ruling party’s occupancy of a parliamentary seat is not too secured; and where the incumbent MP from the ruling party, has been allegedly murdered, what “politically wise” thing would any serious political party interested in capturing political power do? They will by all means, appeal to sympathy, and it would be a fundamental misunderstanding of how political parties in fledgling democracies operate, to fault the NPP for imposing the mourning widow as a replacement of the MP, and slating the MP’s funeral rites one week to the 2020 parliamentary elections”.
He however cautions 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”.