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23.02.2007 NPP News

NPP may not contest Abodakpi`s seat

By Ghanaian Observer

The New Patriotic Party(NPP), may not field a candidate for a bye-election in the Keta constituency should the Electoral Commission declare the seat vacant on account of the outcome of Dan Abodakpi`s appeal, according to credible sources in the party and government circles.

What President Kufuor`s men rather intend to do around this material moment is to strategise in a manner that would culminate in the appropriate arsenal of foot soldiers and resources being marshalled into action on the turf in the Nkoranza North constituency, where the NPP won in 2004 and therefore has comparative advantage politically.

Sources close to the office of NPP General Secretary Nana Ohene Ntow as well as the party's National Organiser, Lord Commey have told GO that like the NPP tactically did in Tamale Central, it is likely to back off from the Keta contest should the EC declare it vacant.

The move, still under consideration, is informed by party intelligence reports about the charged situation in Keta following the NDC-Abodakpi solidarity rally, which at the same time was boiling with anti-government propaganda over the largely successful de-worming exercise.

Other healthy reasons adduced in furtherance of the strategy not to contest the seat, according to our sources, are the `spirit of conciliation, national security and stability as well as political tolerance, especially at a time the opposition NDC is making the world as well as its supporters and sympathisers believe, albeit unjustifiably that the ruling NPP administration is using `scorched-earth` policies to decapitate the NDC and render it incapable of offering the stiff opposition expected of it in the 2008 elections.

Though Lord Commey denied any plan or programme of the sort on the part of his party, saying I`m not aware of any such thing`, GO sources at the NPP headquarters early this week credibly informed us that the party may not contest the Keta seat in the event that the EC declares it vacant.

One argument ran thus:

`If the NDC were going to benefit from Adodakpi sympathy votes, strategists in the NPP figure that the NPP would also benefit from such sympathy votes on the NPP `s turf in Brong Ahafo, where a bye-election to replace Eric Amoateng, who is facing trial in the USA for narcotics related charges, would soon be held.

Again, a decision by the NPP not to contest would politically disarm the NDC, who at this material moment have no strong political clutches to lean on than the Abodakpi case.

Besides, struggles inside the NDC`s own party machine by interested parties was more likely to weaken the party than the situation where the NPP would find itself contesting and being at the receiving end of unnecessary political hostilities.

At the end of the day, the score sheet from the Nkoranza North and a Keta bye-election should the EC declare one after Abodakpi has gone through the entire appeal process will read: NPP-1 NDC-1, which would reduce the `tension` in the nation regarding the Abodakpi trial and conviction for causing financial loss to the state.

By that time the propaganda surrounding the Abodakpi saga, and which the NDC is making huge capital of, would have fizzled and the bare facts gone down the ground in the constituency.

The decision was also based GO was told on the assumption that a struggle for the seat by interested parties in the NDC was more in the strategic interest of the NPP.