Ghana has produced the youngest parliamentarian in its history, with law student Francisca Oteng Mensah clinching a parliamentary seat in the ongoing presidential and parliamentary elections, under the umbrella of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

She beat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) opponent, Iddisah Adams, in a landslide, amassing 70,688 votes to his 15,000, to emerge representative of the Kwabre East Constituency

When the news of Ms. Mensah aspirations hit the media last year, critics questioned how she would combine the demands of being a parliamentary with her education. 

The former General Secretary of her party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, known as Sir John, also questioned her marketability after she won the party primaries, in which she defeated the incumbent MP Kofi Frempong, who had been in the parliament since 2004.

Some of her critics even accused her of winning the primaries solely on the wealth and popularity of her father. 

Dismissing the accusations, Ms. Mensah has said she won simply because she had a message and was able to convince party members to support her.

She said in an interview that she has wanted to be a politician from infancy.  Although she acknowledged she did not think she would run for the position of a Member of Parliament (MP) at her young age, she expressed gratitude to her parents for their support and encouragement.

Ms. Mensah is a 300-level law student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the daughter of Dr. Oteng Gyasi, owner of the Angel Group of Companies, an international textile company.

Her real age is however, unclear, as some reports put it at 23, and others at 27.  Either way, she will be the youngest to be voted into the Ghanaian parliament.

Francisca Oteng Mensah

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