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Politics | Jun 26, 2004

Thomas Broni Denies Vote-Buying Allegation

Ghanaian Chronicle

....But party guru thinks otherwise Mr. Thomas Broni, Deputy Minister of the Interior and an aspirant of the Asutifi South constituency parliamentary seat, has admitted that he had provided bicycles, motorcycles and a Pajero to some delegates of the new Patriotic Party (NPP) in the constituency.

He, however, explained that they were his contribution to the party's campaign and not a means of influencing the upcoming constituency primary.

Information reaching the Brong Ahafo Regional Bureau of The Chronicle speaks of alleged bribery by the parliamentary aspirants in their quest to get the nod of the delegates.

According to the paper's sources, each of the delegates had received two bicycles from the incumbent MP, Mrs. Cecilia Djan Amoah and Mr. Broni.

Ten of the delegates, it was alleged, were each given a motor bicycle by Mr. Broni in addition to the bicycles.

The constituency chairman of the party, Mr. Asamoah allegedly received a Pajero from Mr Broni for his private use and for campaigning, while a nephew of his was given a pick-up.

Some of the beneficiaries of the bicycles, The Chronicle gathered, were the former party youth organiser, Mr. Samuel Addai, the Hwidiem Zongo representative of the party, Harruna Mohammed, Morro Ibrahim, the Asanteagya representative.

The Hwidiem Traditional Council's registrar was also allegedly given a taxicab by Mrs. Amoah to campaign for her.

Mrs Amoah, Nana Nsiah Awuah and Mr. Broni are vying for election as the party's candidate for the constituency in the December general election.

But it was alleged that Nana Nsiah Awuah, who is apparently financially handicapped has not been receiving as much attention as his opponents.

The Chronicle was further told that some of the party members had threatened to boycott the parliamentary election if the candidates would not give them similar packages.

They said they did not understand why the constituency executives should demand such expensive packages from the aspirants after they had paid nomination fees of ¢11 million each charged by the party.

On the chances of the three aspirants, the paper was told that the tension, especially between supporters of Mr. Broni and Mrs Amoah could degenerate into intra-party conflict.

The two are said to be trading accusations that the other did not hail from the constituency. Mrs Amoah is accused of hailing from Denkyira in the Central Region while her supporters also claim Mr. Broni is a Burkinabe.

In a telephone interview, Mr Broni said, in addition to the motorbikes, bicycles and cars, he had made available 20 more bicycles to be given out to other party officials.

He accused Nana Awuah of spreading false rumours about the bikes and cars, saying he rather attempted to bribe the delegates with ¢200,000 each but they rejected it because it was too small for them.

He explained that the items he provided were not meant for the delegates but for the party.

He emphasised that he has had no intention of bribing anybody for votes as being rumoured, saying his gesture was aimed at facilitating the movement of the party campaign team to ensure victory in the elections.

Mr. Broni threatened to withdraw the items if the people continued to show ingratitude but as to whether or not he would withdraw his candidature as well, he said that was his own personal issue.

The Hwidiem Zonal chairman of the party, Mr. Fred Opoku Amankwa said Mr. Broni's decision to provide the items to the party executives amounted to bribery.

According to him, the deputy minister had never contributed to the party's development until recently when the nominations were opened, adding that, " it has become clear that he wanted to bribe us, but some of us could never be influenced by anybody."

Mr. Amankwa said Mrs. Amoah on the other hand, had supplied them with bicycles and other items long before the nominations for the primary opened and he did not think hers was bribery.

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