In an election the governing new patriotic party thought it was going to win by a landslide, it turned out difficult with a slim win both in the presidential and parliamentary elections. At the count the chairperson of the electoral commission, Jean Mensah declared President Akufo Addo winner with six million, seven hundred and thirty thousand and five hundred and eighty seven votes representing 51.302 percent.
His main rival John Dramani Mahama of the NDC polled six million two hundred and thirteen thousand one hundred and eighty two representing 47.359 percent. In the parliamentary elections, data from the electoral body put the governing NPP at 137, NDC at 136 and 1 for an independent candidate representing the Fomena constituency in the Ashanti region.
The seating balance clearly gives an indication of interesting times ahead in the 8th parliament. But as the search for parliamentary leadership begins especially for the governing NPP one name stands out, the current Member of Parliament and MP elect for the Effutu constituency in the central region, Alexander Kwamina Afenyo-Markin.
Despite expectations, the NPP performed poorly in the central region wining 10 out of the 23 seats available though managed to win the presidential votes in the region. the development clearly shows most of the candidates that stood on the ticket of the NPP had lost touch with their constituents and also in some cases rift between District chief executives and the MPS led to many voting for President Akufo Addo and voted against the party’s candidate in a typical skirt and blouse style.
But the situation was different at Effutu as the NPP recorded gains in both presidential and parliamentary elections with over 15 thousand vote difference between the NPP and the NDC in both elections.
Indeed for the first time since 1992 the NPP won at Atekyedo a polling station in the constituency attesting to the strength of Hon. Afenyo Markin. As the NPP decides on who to lead their bench in parliament the influence of Afenyo Markin cannot be ruled out.
His astuteness, toughness, skill in consensus building, sound knowledge of the law and standing orders of parliament and ability to reach out to the opposite side place him in a high position to assume the role of deputy majority leader in the next parliament.
He studied law at the University of Buckingham, (LLB/mgt, 2003-2006), Ghana School of Law where he received a Barrister at Law certification (2007-2009), and received an M.A in international politics and security studies at the University of Bradford (2009-2010).
The former presiding member of the Effutu municipal assembly served on the finance, defence and interior as well as the public accounts committees in the 6th and 7th parliament. His contribution to law making on the floor of parliament is evident in the parliamentary reporting’s.
As the Akufo Addo led NPP government seeks to consolidate power, aapeal to swing regions like the central, ensure it is able to execute government business on the floor with a slim parliamentary majority, the influence of people like Afenyo Markin cannot be over emphasized, and as the party looks within to put its best foot forward in parliament, it is the opinion of this writer that Alexander Afenyo-Markin remains a potent head to effectively execute government business on the floor.
The writer is a political scientist with the University of Innsbruck Austrian federal state of Tyrol.
DR. YAKUBU IMORO
Political science department
University of Innsbruck