The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has decided not to contest the by-election in the Upper Denkyira Constituency in the Central Region. The National Chairman of the party, Dr Obed Yao Asamoah who disclosed this in an interview said the decision was taken by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party this week.
He dismissed the notion that the decision of the party not to participate in the polls was necessitated by the fear of defeat and lack of resources. Dr Asamoah said the decision of the party was necessistated by the fact that by the split of Upper Denkyira into Denkyira West and East, the demographics and land size had changed.
He said by the Supreme Court's decision upholding the right of the Electoral Commission (EC) to create additional constituencies the two constituencies created out of Upper Denkyira are partially in existence and the political parties are putting structures in place for the December polls.
Dr Asamoah added that while some of the parties have elected new executives for the new constiteuncies, others were preparing for congresses and primaries to select their parliamentary candidates for the general election. He said another reason was that the party considered the commitment of resources towards the by-election as a drain on the national coffers because the newly-elected MP would sit for less than three months.
Dr Asamoah said the NDC was not prepared to be party to the waste of the country's resources in these times of economic hardships.He said there was absolutely no iota of truth in the fact that the NDC was boycotting the by-election because it was cash-strapped adding that the party particpated in previous by-elections although it did not have a bottomless pit of resources.
Dr Asamoah said it was also not true that supporters of the party were unwilling to contest the by-election saying that a lady member of the party actually expressed the desire to contest but she was discouraged.
He, however, gave the indications that the party was preparing feverishly to wrest power from the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the general elections and that the NDC would give the NPP the run for their money in the Denkyira West and East constituencies.
The EC has fixed June 29, 2004 for the by-election. The election follows the death of the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Mr C. O. Nyanor.Nominations shall be opened on Wednesday and Thursday, June 2 and 3, 2004 respectively at the office of the returning officer, Dunkwa-On-Offin, between 9 a.m. and 12 noon and 2pm and 5pm each day.
The nomination forms can be obtained from the returning officer at Dunkwa-On-Offin and every nomination must be proposed and seconded by two registered voters respectively, and supported by 18 other registered voters from the constituency.
Nomination papers should be delivered to the returning officer with an amount of ¢200,000 in bank draft and two clear recent post card size photographs in colour, with a red background.The late MP died at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra early this month at the age of about 69. Following his death, Parliament wrote to inform the EC.
It was in fulfilment of the constitutional provision that enjoins the clerk to notify the commission in writing after a vacancy occurs in the House.Article 112, Clause (5) of the 1992 Constitution states that “Whenever a vacancy occurs in Parliament, the Clerk to Parliament shall notify the Electoral Commission in writing within seven days after the vacancy occurred, and a by-election shall be held within thirty days after the vacancy occurred.”
Clause (6), however, states that “Notwithstanding Clause (5) of this article, a by-election shall not be held within three months before the holding of a general election.”