25.04.2004 NPP News

NPP will not impose parliamentary candidates - Dan Botwe

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Sunyani, April 25, GNA - Mr Dan Botwe, General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has affirmed that the party has no intention of imposing parliamentary candidates on the people.
"What we do is to ensure that all aspiring candidates go through the due election process in the primaries and it is the Electoral Commission that supervises and declares the results of these elections. "Parliamentary candidates qualify by the provisions of the national constitution and we cannot have any set of rules outside the national constitution", he said.
Mr Botwe was interacting with journalists in Sunyani as part of a four-day visit to Brong Ahafo, which he said would concentrate on how the party could grab parliamentary seats it lost to the National Democratic Congress in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
The NPP is determined to win all constituencies in Brong Ahafo, he said, and mentioned Kintampo North and South, Atebubu North and South, Nkoranza North and South and Sene constituencies as areas the party hopes to grab in the December parliamentary elections.
"The NPP has since 1992 lost in the three constituencies of Kintampo, Atebubu and Nkoranza, but following their split the main focus of my tour will be on how to grab them all in the next elections," the General Secretary said.
In answer to a question on the 11 and four million cedis fees respectively that aspiring parliamentary candidates have to pay for the primaries, Mr Botwe explained that it was partly to show the seriousness that the party attached to the exercise and also as a financing strategy.
People should take the exercise (primaries) serious and those in constituencies where there are sitting NPP Members of Parliament and will lose in the primaries will be given back six million cedis each, he added.
"The fact that we are trying to be democratic does not mean we must tolerate any acts of misdemeanour," he said and added that the party had invested 750 million cedis in fixed deposits at Stanchart bank towards the December elections.
He appealed to media practitioners to act with great circumspection in the election year, as political competitors were likely to outdo or run down their opponents with scurrilous information that could put the ruling party in bad light.
Mr Botwe intimated that the party would never allow itself to be blackmailed, saying any loser in the primaries who would decide to go independent would automatically forfeit their membership of the party. He said the NPP had designed special strategies for victory in the December elections and "everything is going on well for us". 25 Apr. 04

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