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15.07.2002 General News

NPP & NDC clash

Listen to article District Assembly election campaign

In spite of the law banning political parties from sponsoring candidates for the District level elections, it seems that the elections are being contested on partisan lines in many communities.

This was manifested by a clash between supporters of the NPP and NDC after the mounting of platforms for six candidates at Korle Wokon in Accra at the weekend. The incident occurred at about 8.00 pm when supporters of the two parties went round taunting candidates being backed by the other side.

Three people were arrested by the James Town police after a free-for-all which left some people with injuries. A police source gave their names as Jacob Annan, 17, Robert Dodoo, 23, and Ayele. The police are investigating the incident in the area, where six men are vying for the position of assembly member.

In another development, a supporter of a candidate was assaulted at a platform mounted at Glover Road at Korle-Gonno. A police source told the Ghanaian Times that at about 2 pm on Saturday, Collins Apetor, a contestant, mounted the platform to campaign. During the campaign, Harold Attoh, who is one of his supporters, was assaulted by Odartey and three others for shouting his praise. After the act, the assailants bolted.

But for the intervention of the police-cum-military team, the situation would have degenerated into an open fight by supporters of the various candidates. A report was later made to the Korle-Bu police.

When contacted, Dr K.K Manfo, Accra Regional Police Commander, confirmed the two incidents and warned the public against such acts. "Anybody who contravenes the law will be severely dealt with," he warned, stating that "the nation needs peace for development and progress".

Dr Manfo maintained that the run-off to the elections should be conducted in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony and lawlessness.

In a third incident, a platform to enable the electorate at Abossey Okai, also in Accra, to interact with aspiring assemblymen and women, was on Friday disrupted by armed thugs suspected to have been hired by one of the contestants. Mr David Cecil Ntow, Returning Officer in-charge of the electoral area, told the Ghana News Agency that the attackers just jumped onto the platform and disrupted the programme without any provocation whatsoever.

"I called the contestants by the way they filed their papers and gave them 10 minutes each to speak and with only three questions from the electorate. But just at question time, the armed men stormed the place," he said. Mr Ntow said the incident confirmed rumours that ballot boxes would be seized after the District Assembly polls on 31 July, in answer to a question, he called for maximum security at all the 17 polling stations.

Efforts to get Mr Emmanuel Addo, a contestant who was said to have been injured during the attack, proved futile, but Mrs Mercy Akromah, the only woman contestant, said she and her supporters left the forum immediately "the platform was invaded.

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