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23.04.2004 Regional News

Lecturer to challenge Mr Amoo for Ayawaso West Wuogon seat

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Accra, April 22, GNA - Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, an International Development Consultant and a former Lecturer of the University of Ghana on Thursday filed her nomination papers to challenge Mr George Isaac Amoo the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency seat on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Mr Mike Omari Wudie, NPP Constituency Chairman told the Ghana News Agency at the close of nomination that both candidates complied with the Party's regulations.

The regulations he said included the payment 10 million cedis in banker's draft as filling fees at the time of presenting nominations forms, the provision of three-passport size photographs, photocopies of educational certificates, birth certificates and membership card. Mr Wudie said after initial checking at the Constituency office all the forms would be forwarded to the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Party for onward submission to the National Headquarters for assessment and vetting of the candidates.

A profile of Mrs Osei-Opare who is 57 years old made available to the GNA indicates that she is currently a Development Consultant and Lecturer at Home Science Department University of Ghana, Legon. She served as Country Director of Action Aid, Ghana between 1998 and 2003 and a Senior Programme Coordinator of Netherlands Development Organisation, Ghana, between 1996 and 1998.

Other positions the Ayawaso West Wuogon aspiring MP had held are: Consultant, Alternative Income Generation FAO/UNDP Programme Mission for the 5th Country Programme for Malawi and Consultant - Women in Fisheries: FAO/UN Projects.

In an interview with GNA both candidates expressed satisfaction and were confident of winning the primaries and to continue to eventually win the seat for the NPP in Election 2004.

Mrs Osei-Opare said Election 2004 offered women groups and gender advocates the opportunity to translate rhetoric into reality through the whipping up of the interest and support of women to contest for elections.

She urged political parties and gender groups to develop a strong networking platform to harness effort for women to make great impact in the elections.

She said the prevailing political environment offered a good opportunity for a woman to win the seat for the Party, stressing, "we risk losing the seat if the constituent made the mistake of nominating a male candidate again."

She called on the political parties to evolve specific and detailed agenda for the advancement of gender equality and to make them practical with the view to increasing the number of women at the various levels of decision-making.

Mrs Osei-Opare said it was a paradox that while women constituted over 51 per cent of the national population they occupied less than 10 per cent of the positions in decision-making machinery, including Parliament, Cabinet, Council of State and Political Party Leadership.

"Election 2004 must offer the political parties the remedial platform to change this imbalance through the endorsement of more women as parliamentary candidates," she said.

Mr Amoo, who sounded optimistic, said "my work over the past years would lead me to another victory, I am looking beyond the primaries. I am a fighter, who fought hard during the hard days when the later day saints were nowhere to be found.

"Now NPP is in power and the grounds are fertile and people from all walks of life are interested and bold to come forward to spread their money about to dislodge an incumbent MP. God forbid. It will not happen in Ayawaso West Wuogon."

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