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20.04.2004 NDC News

NDC Inactive in Eastern Region

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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... with about 7 months for general elections

... party adherents in state of bewilderment

With about seven months to go to the polls, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Eastern Region is yet to conduct parliamentary primaries to elect their candidates to contest the 28 seats in the Region.

This has left hundreds of NDC staunch supporters confused over what is happening to the party in relation to its preparation for this year's elections.

Most of these NDC supporters express their worry or concerns any time they come together and try to discuss the party's gain in a small way in the region. Some of the supporters claim this was the time the regional branch of the party had to conduct constituency primaries to elect marketable candidates for the forthcoming elections.

According to them, when the candidates are elected earlier, it would place them in good stead as they would have enough time to campaign, put their messages across and hopefully garner more votes. Presently, the NDC occupies 8 out of the 26 seats in the Eastern Region. They are to hold primaries in 18 NPP represented areas.

While much has not been heard about the NDC primaries in areas represented by NPP MPs, the sitting MPs have also not been heard declaring their intentions to contest their seats in this year's election.

The NPP on the othe hand, has started conducting primaries in the 8 areas and has finished withfour. Where they have managed to conduct primaries successfullyinclude Afram Plains, North and South, Yilo Krobo and Asuogyaman constituencies, remaining with the Fanteakwa,Upper West Akim, Lower Manya and Upper Manya constituencies.

According to theFirst National Vice Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Stephen Ntim, the rest were stopped to enable the party have enough time to monitor the just ended voters' registration exercise which was more important (to them).

However, he hinted that with the exercise over, the party would quickly move to conduct their primaries in the remaining areas very soon. He explained that all the Constituency Executives had to do was complete a photo album of delegates, fix a date and get approval from the party's headquarters for the delegates congress to be held.

Chronicle investigation unveiled that certain key personalities expected to file their nominations as NDC parliamentary candidates were not forthcoming, apparently from the fear that they may taste the defeat their collegues had tasted in the 2000 election, and this time, on a more resounding note.

Also, some who had contested and lost but were being asked to come back, had made it clear that they were not prepared to contest this year's election. All attempts to get the reactions of the NDC from any Regional Executive proved futile as several calls to the Regional Party Office were unanswered.

Meanwhile, all the other political parties in the Region have remained silent on how they are going to select their parliamentary candidates.

Stay tuned as The Chronicle tries to conduct series on how the Convention People's Party (CPP), National Reform Party (NRP), Egle Party (EG), Democratic People's Party (DPP) and Domestication Party - the Great Consolidated People's Party (GCPP) - intend to elect their parliamentary candidates in the region.