One refrain that has become popular in politics is that positions held are not transferable either by sex (as in between married couples) and or hereditary (as in parent passing the baton to their children).
These are used in context where for instance a husband dies in office and a party decides to field their spouse for the vacant seat.
There has been two such instances in recent years, when the then Mfantseman Member of Parliament was killed by armed robbers, his wife was voted into office to replace him. The same happened in the case of Ayawaso West Wuogon, which by-election brough Lydia Alhassan into office.
In the case of a parent leaving the scene for their children, our checks have yet to show an instance like that in the Fourth Republic. That has however not stopped children of top politicians from aspiring to and winning seats in Ghana’s Parliament.
As Parliament celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, GhanaWeb looks at some interesting trends across the political landscape with specific reference to Parliament.
In this first part of many, we zoom in on children of top politicians who have succeeded in entering politics, specifically lawmaking.
Kwamena and Shiela Bartels
Kwamina Essilfie Bartels was a politician and a member of the New Patriotic Party.
Born on October 27, 1947, at Agona Swedru, in the Central Region. Bartels was parliametary candidate for Agona West Constituency in 1992 but the NPP boycotted the vote over allegations of electoral malpractice.
He shifted camp to the Ablekuma North Constituency where he won the 1996 and 2000 and 2004 parliamentary polls. In 2008 he stepped down as a member of parliament.
Years later, Sheila Bartels will pop up in the same constituency to win the seat for the NPP. She is in her first term as a lawmaker after winning in 2020.
Aliu and Farouk Aliu Mahama
Alhaji Aliu Mahama (3 March 1946 – 16 November 2012) was a Ghanaian engineer and politician who was Vice-President of Ghana from 7 January 2001 to 7 January 2009.
A member of the New Patriotic Party, he served the full term of then president John Agyekum Kufuor but failed in his bid to succeed his boss as the NPP candidate in 2008. He was Ghana’s first Muslim Vice-President.
His son Farouk Aliu Mahama is also following the political path taken by his father. He is currently the MP for Yendi in the Northern Region.
JJ Rawlings and Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings
Jerry John Rawlings (22 June 1947 – 12 November 2020) was a Ghanaian military officer and politician who led the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.
He led a military junta until between 1981 and 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.
Jerry John Rawlings was born in Accra on 22nd June, 1947, to a Ghanaian mother from Dzelukope, near Keta, in the Volta Region, and a Scottish father.
His first daughter, Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, is currently the MP for Klottey Korle Constituency in the Greater Accra Region.
She, of course, is in the House on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress, the party founded by her late father.
Ahmed and Mohammed Adamu Ramadan
Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan is Ghanaian politician and former chairman of People’s National Convention (PNC). He retired from active politics in 2015.
In 2017 he was appointed by President Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s first Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
His son, Mohammed Adamu Ramadan is a former presidential staffer under the John Mahama administration and is currently MP for Adenta having won his seat in 2020.