A former National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Ningo-Prampram Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, E.T. Mensah, is among those contesting to represent the Greater Accra Region on the Council of State.
A notice of poll published by the Electoral Commission, confirms Mr. E.T Mensah’s participation in the election slated for Thursday, February 16. The news comes as a surprise, considering that he is a known member of the NDC.
The Council of State consists of one representative from each region of Ghana, elected in accordance with regulations made by the EC under article 51 of Ghana’s constitution, by an electoral college comprising two representatives from each of the districts in the region, nominated by the District Assemblies in the region, and eleven other members appointed by the President.
Mr. Mensah had served in Ghana’s legislature for two decades till he was defeated in the 2015 National Democratic Congress (NDC) primary in by his protege Sam George. That defeat created serious divisions between him and Mr. George, who eventually went on to win the elections.
There were reports that prior to election 2016, Mr. E.T. Mensah even campaigned for the NPP’s Parliamentary Candidate in the area, ostensibly following his altercation with Sam George. Sam George, who was a presidential staffer in the presidency of John Mahama, is believed to have been supported by the President and other influential persons in government at the time, to oust the long-serving MP. Will E.T. Mensah join the NPP? It is not clear whether by this decision, Mr. E.T. Mensah may be contemplating breaking away from the NDC. Ordinarily, council of state members in any government are people who have some form of leanings towards the party in power.
It is thus unclear how Mr. E.T. Mensah can emerge a winner in such an election to be one of the advisers for a President on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mr. E.T. Mensah’s time in politics stretches back to 1992, when he was appointed Minister for Youth and Sports by President Jerry Rawlings. He later stood for parliament in 1996 and was elected MP for the Ningo-Prampram constituency.
He has also served in government as Minister for Employment and Social Welfare in 2010, and the Minister for Education in 2012.