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29.05.2004 Regional News

NDC elects parliamentary candidate for Abuakwa North

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New Tafo(E/R), May 29, GNA- The Abuakwa North constituency branch of the National Democratic Congress(NDC) on Friday elected a student of the University of Cape Coast, Mr Simon Peter Asirifi, 44, as its parliamentary candidate for the 2004 elections.

Mr Asirifi, who is also the Assemblyman for the Osiem Electoral Area, stood unopposed.

Speaking at the function, the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, explained that the party's withdrawal from the Upper Denkyirah constituency by-elections was for "strategic reasons". He said the NDC contested previous by-elections including, "even the one at Kumawu which is one of the strongholds of the New Patriotic Party(NPP)," adding, "but the withdrawal from the Upper Denkyirah by-election is to enable the party to plan how to win the two new constituencies in the area in the December elections."

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo called on the delegates to go and work hard to ensure that the NDC wins the Abuakwa North constituency "because it is an area where the party had received high votes in previous elections." The Eastern Regional Chairman of the NDC, Mr Fred Ohene-Kena, added his voice to the call on the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to come out with the government's position on the controversial 300 million dollars Chinese New Technologies Construction and Investment Limited(CNTCI) loan.

He stated that Ghanaians needed not fight over addresses but what was important was the sources of the money, "whether it is clean money or money from laundering."

Mr Ohene-Kena recalled President Agyekum Kufuor's assurance that his government had put in place a system that would ensure that Ghanaians always pay the right prices for petrol and criticised the NDC Government of wrong doing when it decided to shield the people from unnecessary fuel price hike.

He explained that the NDC Government took that decision because it was sure that the increase in the world oil price was to last for only few months and then drop.

Mr Ohene-Kena who was a former Minister of Energy, said, "now the people of Ghana are waiting for the President to stand by his word and act to save the country the trouble of spending 90 billion cedis every month to cushion the fuel price."

He urged Ghanaians to judge the NPP government by what they said they would do for them and vote them out of power. Mr Ohene-Kena predicted that the NDC would win the December elections in nine regions and "shock the NPP in Ashanti Region."

The Eastern Regional Organiser of the party, Mr Tawiah Boateng, urged the delegates to go back to their branches and zones to explain to the people the reasons why they should vote the NPP out of office and vote for Mr Asirifi and Professor Atta Mills.

According to him, it was the NDC Government which promoted freedom of speech and political participation by encouraging the establishment of FM stations and communication centres. Mr Boateng advised the parliamentary candidate to work with the existing constituency executives and not to establish his own campaign team. May 29, 04