Eugene Osei-Tutu: Kumawu in perspective; a read down memory lane on by-elections in the 4th republic


By-elections have varied meanings. For this article, I will ascribe to this definition by the Collins Dictionary; a by-election is “A by-election is an election that is held to choose a new member of parliament when a member has resigned or died”.

Ghana in this republic, the 4th republic has experienced 30 by-elections. The 31st by-elections will happen on Tuesday, May 23 in the Kumawu constituency in the Ashanti region.

The NPP has won 50% of these by-elections. That is 15, the NDC has won 43% of them, that is 13%, the CPP winning 1 and the remaining going to an independent candidate.

In the 1st parliament of the 4th republic, spanning from 1993 to 1996 there were 4 by-elections (The NPP boycotted the parliamentary election in 1992);

  1. New Edubiase (1993) NDC
  2. Wenchi East(1995) NDC
  3. Tano South (1995) NDC
  4. Navrongo Central (1995) Independent
  • The Independent Candidate who won the Navrongo Central seat is the late John Setuni Achuliwor. He died in a ghastly accident in January 2003. He was then serving as the first NPP MP for the Navrongo central constituency between 2000-2003 before he passed on.

In the 2nd parliament of the 4th republic, from (1997- 2000.), 2 by-elections happened.

  1. Lambussie (1999) NDC
  2. Ablekuma Central (1999) NPP
  • The Lambussie by-election was won by a then 37-year-old teacher, Alice Teni Boon. He defeated NPP’s Bie Ketting. Hon. Boon replaced the late Luke Koo who was an NDC MP. Madam Teni Boom went on to serve in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th parliaments.
  • The Ablekuma Central by-election was occasioned after the death of Clement Samuel Crabbe. The by-election was won by Victor Okuley Nortey for the NPP.

In the 3rd parliament of this republic, Ghana experienced 7 by-elections. (2001-2004)

  1. Kumawu (2002) NPP (the death of Reo Basoah)
  2. Bimbilla (2002) NPP
  3. Wulensi (2003) NPP
  4. Navrongo Central (2003) NPP
  5. Gomoa East (2003) NPP
  6. Amenfi West (2003) NPP
  7. Upper Denkyira (2004) NPP
  • Interestingly, the NPP won all 7 by-elections in the 3rd parliament of the 4th republic.
  • In the Amenfi-West by-elections, the seat became vacant following the resignation of the NDC parliamentarian, Abraham Asante.
  • The seat was flipped by the NPP in the by-elections and Agnes Sonful became the MP.
  • For the Bimbila by-elections, the seat became vacant following the elevation of Mohammed Ibn Chambas as Executive Secretary of ECOWAS. That occasioned the by-elections. It was the elections that introduced the current Defense minister, Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul to the political scene. He was 22 years old at that time.

In the 4th parliament (2005-2008), we had 6 by-elections.

  1. Asawase (2005) NDC
  2. Odododiodio (2005) NDC
  3. Offinso South (2006) NPP
  4. Tamale central (2006) NDC
  5. Fomena (2007) NPP
  6. Nkoranza North (2007) NPP
  • Muntaka Mubarak first entered the Parliament of Ghana in 2005 when he won the by-election in the Asawase constituency replacing the late Dr. Gibril Adamu.
  • In the Odododiodio by-election held on 30 August 2005, Jonathan Nii Tackie Komey of the NDC won to replace Samuel Nii Ayi Mankattah also of the NDC who had died earlier.
  • In Offinso South, Dr. Owusu Achaw Duah won the by-elections to replace the late Kwabena Safo. In the 5th parliament ( 2009- 2012), 3 by-elections were occasioned.
  1. Chereponi (2009) NDC
  2. Jirapa (2009) NDC
  3. Atiwa (2010) NPP
  • two of them, Chereponi and Talensi are remembered for their notorious acts of violence and vandalism. People were shot at and several people were maimed.
  • In the Chereponi by-elections, it was held on 29th September 2009, to elect a new MP for the constituency to replace the late Doris Seidu, who passed away in August 2009 after a protracted illness. The seat was held by an NPP MP but was snatched by the NDC’s Samuel Jabanyite. That was partly why that by-election was a bloodbath.
  • The Atiwa by-election is the election now President, Akufo-Addo said “wo Atiwa, ye kyere omo adi kakraa bi, to wit, “At Atiwa, we showed them just something little”. It was a litmus test for the base of the party going into the 2012 elections.
  • That was another keenly contested battle in our political history. Very similar to the showings witnessed in Chereponi. Many political observers believe the NPP used Atiwa to settle the scores with the NDC because of the events of Chereponi. The sitting MP, Kwasi Ankama died. That by-election was won by the current roads ministers and now MP for Atiwa West, Hon. Kwesi Amoako-Atta.

In the 6th parliament (2013-2016), there were 7 by-elections.

  1. Akatsi South (2013) NDC
  2. Buem (2013) NDC
  3. Kumbungu (2013) CPP
  4. Talensi (2015) NDC
  5. Amenfi West (2015) NDC
  6. Abuakwa North (2016) NPP
  7. Abetifi (2016) NPP
  • In the Kumbungu by-elections, the seat became vacant as a result of the resignation of the former MP and running mate of Late Professor Mills, Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni to take up the position of General Secretary in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States. The New PatrioticParty (NPP) boycotted the poll. The CPP flipped the seat and it was won by Mr Amadu Yahya beating NDC’s Alhaji Imoro Yakuku Kpagu.
  • The Talensi Constituency seat became vacant following the resignation of the former NPP MP, Mr Robert Naachinaab Musuore after he was enskinned Chief of the Tongo Traditional Area. Benson Tongo (B.T) Baba won the Talensi bye-election for the NDC. In this election, the violence unleashed
    was of a monstrous level, sadly, in the full glare of the police.

In the last parliament, the 7th parliament, we had 1.

  1. The infamous Ayawaso West Wuogon (2019)
  • The by-election was necessitated by the death of the MP for the area, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko. Her wife contested on the ticket of the NPP and won. She is Hon. Lydia Seyram Alhassan.
  • The conduct of the polls was marred by a shooting incident at the residence of one of the aspirants, Mr Brempong the NDC candidate which resulted in injuries to 18 persons and an assault on an observer at one of the polling stations. The events culminated in a Commission of Inquiry led by Justice Emile Short.

So from 1st January 1993 to 31st December 2022, Ghana has experienced 30 by-elections with the NPP winning 15 of them, the NDC winning 13, the CPP winning 1 and an independent candidate winning 1. The by-election of Kumawu makes it the 31st in the 4th republic which is interestingly 31 years old. Also, the Kumawu constituency (2002, 2023) has joined the Amenfi West (2003, 2015) Navrongo Central (1995, 2003) constituencies to be the only 3 constituencies to have experienced 2 by-elections in this


The Writer, Eugene Osei-Tutu is a Producer with LUV FM, a radio subsidiary of the Multimedia Group ltd

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.


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