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10.10.2008 Politics

80 Polling Station Chairmen Support Appiah-Kubi

80 Polling Station Chairmen Support Appiah-Kubi

Eighty aggrieved polling station chairmen of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Asante Akyem North Constituency have resolved not to participate in the re-run of the party's primary if the decision to disqualify Mr Andy Appiah-Kubi is not reversed.

At a press conference in Konongo yesterday, the polling station chairmen described the disqualification of Mr Appiah-Kubi as "unfair, unconstitutional and influenced by the constituency executives.” In all there are 142 polling station chairmen at the constituency.

They have accordingly called on the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NPP as a matter of urgency, to intervene to reverse the decision to disqualify Mr Appiah-Kubi.

“It is only through such a measure that peace would be ensured in the constituency,” Mr Kenneth Ohemeng, spokesperson for the group, told the press conference.

A large number of party faithful attended the news conference to give support to the polling station chairmen, who by the constitution of the party are delegates for the primary.

Mr Ohemeng discounted claims by the constituency executives that it would be difficult for Mr Appiah Kubi to campaign at Agogo where Mr Baah-Wiredu hailed from, in the event that he won the primary.

“I personally accompanied Mr Appiah Kubi to Agogo on Wednesday and nothing happened to him,” Mr Ohemeng said.

He described the exercise as an unfortunate misrepresentation of political power within the NPP family, and added that the vetting committee did not even recognise Mr Appiah-Kubi's loyalty and contributions to the party in the past, having been a founder member and a past national youth organiser.

He alleged that some of the people who were given the nod to contest the primary were not registered voters in the constituency, “yet they have been passed to contest and Andy has been disqualified”.

The spokesperson stated that although they were yet to be officially informed about the decision to disqualify Mr Appiah-Kubi, they heard about it in the media, and thought the reasons given for the disqualification were “frivolous”.

He called for transparency in the administration of the party as the party prepared for the December 7 election and

challenged the constituency executives to prove their allegations against Mr Appiah-Kubi.

He indicated that if anything, it was the constituency executives who were dividing the party and not Mr Appiah-Kubi.

Mr Appiah-Kubi, the man at the centre of the controversy over who succeeds the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu as the NPP parliamentary aspirant for the Asante Akim North Constituency, was disqualified from the race last Wednesday.

The national vetting committee of the party disqualified him from participating in the re-run of the primary when he appeared at its sitting in Kumasi. The decision of the vetting committee is, however, subject to ratification by the NEC of the party.

He was said to have been asked to withdraw from the re-run for security reasons but when he declined the directive, the committee took the decision to recommend his rejection to the NEC.

Before he appeared at the vetting, the constituency executives had informed the vetting committee that they could not support his bid.

They explained that it would be difficult for him to campaign at Agogo where Mr Baah-Wiredu hailed from.

A source said the committee members asked Mr Appiah-Kubi, who is also the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Free Zones Board, why he failed to attend the one-week observation of the death of Mr Baah-Wiredu at Agogo.

In his reply, Mr Appiah-Kubi pointed out that it was not safe for him to attend the funeral, especially as some people had made it a habit of demonstrating against him.

Story by Enoch Darfah Frimpong