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20.07.2004 NPP News

Question Mark Over NPP Democratic Principles

By Chronicle
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Minister, party chairman put on the defensive

The Deputy Brong Regional Minister, Mr. Yaw Adjei Duffour and the National Patriotic Party (NPP) Chairman for the Region, Mr. Kwadwo Yeboah Fordjour, have been accused by the Kintampo South Constituency executives and the polling station chairmen of undermining democratic principles in the constituency, thereby making things difficult for them in forming a new electoral college towards both the election of constituency executives and a parliamentary candidate.

The deputy minister, for instance, was censured for contracting a private photographer to compile a new list of polling station chairmen's album, contrary to the rules and regulations of the NPP.

The chairman's share of the accusation was that he had been supporting the deputy minister to compile a new album suitable to the minister, who was an aspiring parliamentarian for the area.

But the deputy minister denied the allegations, saying, " I would not accept any album single handedly compiled by Mr. Kwaku Agyarko," adding, "I did not contract anybody to do an album and I, therefore, challenge any person to apprehend any photographer seen doing that job."

Mr. Duffour said Mr. Agyarko was supposed to be neutral, since he was an executive member, but was not, because he had aligned himself with one of the parliamentary aspirants by name Kwasi Adu-Gyan, an ICT Advisor to the Ministry of Communication and Technology.

According to him, Mr. Agyarko was using the campaign van of his opponent, but The Chronicle's contact with Mr. Agyarko unearthed that the constituency had no means of transport for the party for its errands, hence the use of the car by him.

At a press conference held at Kintampo last week, the Assistant Secretary, the only executive member who, by constitution, fell within the Kintampo South Constituency, told the press men that following a letter from the national headquarters of the NPP signed by its General Secretary, it had become necessary to form a new electoral college before they could organize a delegates' conference to elect constituency executives and their parliamentary candidates.

Mr. Agyarko explained that following the division of the Kintampo Constituency into two - Kintampo North and South - most of the executives were moved to the north and this had made the south constituency have about nine vacant positions.

Since there were vacant positions, according to the guidelines for the selection and elections of polling stations and constituency officers, there was the need for them to organize the polling station officers.

Mr. Agyarko told the press conference, which was attended by 63 polling station chairmen that the tenure of office of the chairmen would be due in 2005, therefore, it was wrong for any person to challenge their eligibility.

They cautioned, hence, that any attempt to impose any candidate on the constituency would receive heavy resistance.

The polling station chairmen also warned that the plans by the deputy minister to replace the Electoral College with their favourites would not be accepted by them, adding, "We vehemently oppose any kind of re-organization on the following grounds."

According to them, the Kintampo south constituency alone could not be singled out among the lot in the country. The statement indicated that the Brong Ahafo Regional Executive Council, at their meeting on January 23, this year, totally rejected a recommendation of a committee to be set up to investigate the Kintampo polling stations' issues and for that matter, they could not implement it.

The chairmen have, therefore, appealed to the leadership of the NPP to give a date to re-convey an extra-ordinary delegates' conference to elect executives to fill the vacant positions.

The deputy minister told reporters that Mr. Agyarko had, on so many occasions, changed the list of the chairmen.

According to him, Mr. Agyarko always deleted the names of chairmen whom he thought favoured Mr. Duffour.

He, therefore, declared that some of the chairmen were not credible delegates to vote in either delegate's conference to elect constituency executives or elect a parliamentary candidate.