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History As 22-Year Old Wins Parliamentary Seat In Ghana

HISTORY has been made in African Politics as a 23-year old has won election into Ghana’s Parliament in the ongoing general election in the West African Country.

Francisca Oteng-Mensah, a law student and member of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, caused an upset in June 2015 when she defeated the sitting lawmaker of the Kwabre East Constituency in the Ashanti Region in the NPP parliamentary primary Election.

In the Primary election, Oteng-Mensah polled 321 votes while the incumbent MP Kofi Frempong got 187 votes.

Born on Valentines’ day – 14 February – 1993, to Dr Oteng Gyasi, a doctor and a businessman, the MP-elect is currently a second year Law student at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.

In an interview after her victory in the Primaries, Oteng-Mensah admitted that she had support from her father’s companies, but insisted that her victory was more about her message.

She said while her opponent focused on vilifying her, she stuck to her message of transforming the lives of the youth.

Oteng-Mensah’s victory in the elections may be the beginning of a new era in African politics which has over the years witnessed little or no youth or women participation.

In Nigeria, a non-profit organization, Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth and Advancement, YIAGA, is campaigning for a reduction in the constitutional age requirement for running for political office in Nigeria.

On June 8 this year, a bill seeking to reduce the age qualifications for interested candidates to contest for the positions of President, governor and senate in Nigeria to 30 years passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill, which also provides for independent candidacy into Nigeria’s electoral process, further reduces the age qualifications to contest for the House of Representatives and State Houses of Assembly to 25 years.

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The Bill seeks to amend section 65, 106, 131 and 177 of the 1999 constitution which prescribed qualification into the office of President to 40 years and above, office of governors and senate, 35 years and above as well as House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly to 25 years and above.

 

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