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11.07.2004 NDC News

Ketu South NDC protest against parliamentary candidate

By GNA

Aflao (V/R), July 11, GNA - More than 200 placard-bearing Ketu South Constituency supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), clad in red with bands, on Saturday took to the streets of Aflao and Agbozume to demonstrate against the area's parliamentary candidate-elect, Mr Albert Zigah, 45, a Transport Owner, who they perceive as unsuitable for Parliament.

The group, which defied a rainfall for over two hours and went on procession through the principal street amidst brass band music, with cheers from some by-standers along the routes, also accused the Volta Regional and Constituency Executives of the Party, for skewing the electoral process in Zigah's favour and threatened to desert the Party.

Some of the placards read: "Mr. Booker, can you talk at Parliament?" "Panellists Does One Speak Ewe in Parliament?" "No Booker for MP," "NDC Leadership, Resolve Problem Now To Avoid Drift to NPP" and "We Will Follow an Independent Candidate".

Others included, "No Sleeping MP for Ketu South Again," "Constituency Executives Sold Their Right For Money," "Parliamentary Business is Different From Trotro Business" and "Losing One Person is Better Than Losing a Whole Constituency".

The group finally converged at the Party's Constituency Office at Viepe - Aflao, in the presence of state security personnel, who had disallowed the demonstration last week because Police permit had not been secured and presented a resolution to the Constituency Executives.

Mr. Ben Amegbletor, on behalf of the group said they were resentful and discontented with the vetting conducted by the Panellists from the Regional Office of the Party and the open bias, they alleged, that was shown by the Constituency Executives resulting in the "shocking outcome of the primaries," on June 19.

He recalled that at the vetting for the candidates, the panellists had to allow Mr Zigah to speak Ewe after he had shown his inability to express himself in the English Language, which remained the only medium of communication in the National Assembly.

Mr Amegbletor also accused the Panel of negligently ignoring the case in which Mr Zigah indicated two different dates of birth in his curriculum vitae (CV) and nomination form.

"One would expect that they will drop him at that stage, and that negligence is the root cause of the problem at hand for which the Panel stands responsible for." he said, adding, "the inclusion of Zigah in the primaries was unacceptable".

Mr Amegbletor explained also that prior to the congress, names of some delegates were deleted on Zigah's instructions, in connivance with the Constituency Executives and replaced with names of his favourites, explaining that one such case was challenged and rectified at the congress.

Signed by 25 organisers of the demonstration and copied to the Founder, the Flag Bearer, the National, Regional and the Constituency Chairmen of the NDC, the press and the Electoral Commission (EC), the resolution cautioned the Party Leadership to act immediately to close the floodgate for a defeat in Election 2004 as threats to vote for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were widespread among NDC supporters in the area.

When asked by the GNA why the belated protest and as to whether they were calling for the annulment of Zigah's election for fresh polls, Mr. Amegbletor said they had to organise themselves for the protest and that they had made their point with the rest left for the Party Leadership.

Mr Amuzu Tetteh, who described himself as the Youth Patron of the Party in the Constituency, said the Leadership must be mindful of the power in an individual's vote in deciding the fate of a party in a democratic system and urged the NDC Leadership to act to save the Party from disgrace in the area in the Election 2004.

Mr Raymond Avevor, Constituency Chairman, receiving the resolution appealed to the group to be patient while their complaints were being studied and addressed.

Mr Kwabena Akuoko Oduro, Superintendent of Police in Charge of Aflao, who led the Police team to monitor the demonstration thanked the Leadership for comporting themselves and gave the assurance that the Police would be open-minded to all political groupings in their efforts to maintain law and order.

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