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27.10.2008 Politics

Tema East parliamentary candidates clash in heated debate

By GNA

Four parliamentary candidates contesting the Tema East constituency seat on Sunday engaged in a debate with each claiming to be the best candidate.

The four are Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Richster Nii Armarh Armarfio, for the Convention People's Party (CPP), Mr Robert Kempes Papa Nii Ofosuware, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Mr Stephen Ashitey Adjei of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).

The four parliamentary candidates outlined their plans for the constituency which has 17 electoral areas and covers Community One to Community Nine and Tema Manhean when voted to parliament.

They addressed the constituents in turns at Tema Manhean at the debate organised by the Kpeshie Youth Association and sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.

Mr Narh said he was the most qualified person to represent the people in parliament due to the experience he had when he managed the affairs of the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA) as the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE).

He said during his tenure Tema was adjudged the second neatest district in the country, promising to collaborate with the TMA to improve the sanitation situation in the constituency.

Mr Narh said he would expand social amenities in the constituency and that infrastructure in the communities, especially Community One, had been stretched due to increase in population.

He said he would use part of the MP's common fund to initiate an educational scholarship to support brilliant but needy students in the constituency.

Mr Narh promised to collaborate with the Ghana Navy to apprehend fishermen using light at sea and he would empower the people to provide the police with information on criminals in the constituency.

Mr Amarfio said he would push for the amendment of the compulsory government acquisition policy that had deprived the people of Tema of their lands and ensure that the TMA and Tema Development Corporation (TDC) would be one establishment as the two were performing the same duties.

Mr Amarfio urged the people to consider his contributions to the fishing community to vote him to parliament, noting that he advocated for them especially on the issue of pair trawling, using of light at sea as well as pollution of the Chemu Lagoon.

Touching on sanitation, he said he would use the first 100 days to organize a sponsored clean up exercise throughout the constituency as well as initiate an environmental sanitation brigade in addition to a consumer association which would pick empty food cans for a fee.

The CPP candidate said he would ensure that police personnel would reside among the people instead of staying at their barracks to facilitate easy identification of criminals.

Mr Ofosuware said when voted to parliament, apart from initiating a scholarship scheme, he would also organize annual inter quiz competition for the senior high schools in the constituency to encourage students in the area to learn.

Mr Ofosuware said even though MPs do not create jobs, he would recommend qualified people in the constituency for jobs in companies and that currently 90 percent of employees of companies in the constituency reside outside Tema.

He said sanitation and health were priorities of the NDC and promised to provide sanitation tools to the people to help them clean their environs periodically to complement the work of TMA.

Security wise, the NDC candidate said he would form watchdog committees in all the 17 electoral areas for the people to help the police apprehend criminals adding that he would also unify all the political parties in the constituency and would hold periodic meetings with them to address problems facing the constituency.

Mr Adjei said he would organize a forum for the people to air their grievances as well as suggest to him what he should do for the constituency.

Mr Peter Narh, Programmes Coordinator of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, urged the people not to base their votes on personalities or parties but rather on their programmes and policies.

Mr William Asamoah, President of Kpeshie Youth Association, said the programme was to give the candidates the opportunity to explain their policies to the people.

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