RPD won't affect NPP in Ashanti, Sir John declares
8/5/2008 11:03:54 AM -
John Owusu Afriyie, a leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party and Chairman of the Ashanti Regional NPP 2008 campaign team has stated that the NPP would retain its 38 seats in the Ashanti Region and work extra hard to capture the Asawase seat in spite of the formation of the Kumasi-based Reformed Patriotic Democrats.
The Region has thirty nine constituencies and is considered the major stronghold of the NPP.
The RPD, formed last year, is the only political party in the country that has its headquarters in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
The party over the weekend elected its founder, 45 year old Timber merchant and former NPP member Kwabena Agyei, also known as Bambata, as its presidential candidate for the 2008 polls.
Mr Agyei and his party members broke away from the NPP.
According to Mr Owusu Afriyie, the RPD's presence in the Ashanti Region would not negatively affect the chances of the NPP in this year's elections, conceding though that politics is about people and numbers noting, "As a party we want numbers and they are always welcome. Our doors are always opened.'
He, however, dismissed allegations that the NPP held a meeting with the RPD leadership in an attempt to 'financially reward' them in order to return to the NPP.
Mr Afriyie told this paper that he wished the RPD members had stayed on in the party to assist and seek redress to their concerns and whatever differences they had adding, 'Sometimes it's good for them to go out and see what is there and examine the process. Whatever you do NPP is better.'
'They are our brothers and if at any point in time they decide to come back just like the prodigal son, they are always welcome. The option is for the NPP to continue without them.'
Asked to assess the chances of the NPP in this year's elections, Mr Afriyie, who is popularly called 'Sir John', told this paper, 'I want to be very fair, I hope that we win thirty eight out of the thirty nine seats and the one left is Asawase. We shall do our best to narrow the gap if not win the win this time.'
The Asawase seat is currently occupied by Muntakar Mubarak of the opposition National Democratic Congress.
On Saturday, the RPD Presidential Candidate accused the Kufuor-led NPP administration of frustrating the work of the Electoral Commission in the ongoing registration exercise as part of the party's schemes to rig this year's general polls.
Kwabena Adjei said government had intentionally refused to release funds for the exercise which he said had financially crippled the EC, hence their inability to hold the registration exercise in all the twenty-two thousand polling stations across the country but could do so in only five thousand centres.
'Knowing perfectly well that they (NPP) will lose the December election if they had allowed the EC to open all the 22 thousand polling station in Ghana for the youth to register, they have intentionally remained adamant in releasing adequate funds for the registration exercise which will no doubt disenfranchise most youth and prevent them from taking part in the exercise', he claimed.
William Hagan Brown Jnr (National Chairman); Frank Kyei (General Secretary); Rosemary Agyapong (Women's Organiser); Joseph Boateng (Youth Organiser); Collins Kesse (National Treasurer); John Bediako (National 1st Vice Chairman); and Isaac Donkor (2nd Vice Chairman) were elected national officers at the maiden National Delegates congress of the RPD held at the Great Hall of the Kumasi Polytechnic.