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03.05.2004 General News

Reform is not in merger talks - Opoku

By GNA

Accra, May 3, GNA - The National Reform Party (NRP) on Monday denied that it was engaged in talks to form an electoral alliance or merge with any of the minority parties to contest Election 2004. Mr Kyeretwie Opoku, General Secretary, told the Ghana News Agency that the party had been involved with others in opposition only on issues that were of grave concern to the conduct of free and fair elections this year.

He said the parties remained competitors but they were cooperating in three main areas as a means of heightening the credibility of the elections.

These were ensuring a fair access of all parties to the public media; looking into the way public order and security were managed prior to the elections so that the element of intimidation was removed and assuring a good monitoring process before and after the polls to make for confidence in the entire process of elections.

Mr Opoku explained that the minority parties had decided to step up their activities in the three areas because of the fear and the tendency that any ruling party would try to abuse any system to its advantage.

"This coming together should not be seen as a merger or an electoral alliance. We are going it alone as far as the elections are concerned," he said.

The General Secretary said the NRP was concentrating its resources in building a cohesive party structure but expressed doubts about the Party's ability to contest for Parliamentary Seats in all the 230 constituencies.

On the conduct of the registration exercise, Mr Opoku said although there were a lot of negative reports, there was, however, no evidence that the exercise was pro-New patriotic Party.

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