10.08.2004 Politics

Controversy hits Kintampo South delegates congress

10.08.2004 LISTEN
By Chronicle

… Party executive moves venue to Techiman … As Deputy Minister fears losing The oft-postponed delegates congress of the Kintampo South constituency of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Brong Ahafo Region suffered yet another setback when the leadership of the party postponed it and relocated the venue to the disappointment of delegates who had converged at the Jema Secondary School to elect executives for the newly created constituency.

The leadership of the party, according to The Chronicle's investigation, decided to adjourn the congress to Tuesday August 10 at Techiman Brokyepem Hall to ensure free and fair elections.

Mr. Yaw Adjei Duffuor, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, an aspiring parliamentary candidate for the constituency, was reportedly gripped with fear of his camp losing the executive positions to his opponent, Mr. Adu Gyan, an Adviser to the Ministry of Communications, as a result of which he allegedly used his influence to get the regional executive of the party to postpone and shift the congress to neutral grounds.

The delegates on Friday, August 6, converged at the Jema venue to elect the constituency executives to pave the way for the primary, but this could not materialize.

Some of the delegates described the shifting of the avenue to Techiman as shocking. They were of the view that if the venue was moved to Kintampo Town, the mother constituency, it would make things easier for them. Others too saw the change as an attempt to influence the delegates to vote for their favorites.

The business of the congress would not only be the election of constituency executives but also the parliamentary candidate.

The decision of combining the primaries and the election of the executive, according to some delegates, was an infringement of their right, as they would not have enough time to think of whom to vote for as their parliamentary candidate.

According to our investigations, the District Police Commander was compelled to stop the congress, because enough time was not given the police as required by the law.

The police said the party was supposed to give them a five-day notice, but only a day's notice was given.

It also came to the notice of The Chronicle that Mr. Duffuor and the District Chief Executive for Kintampo, Mr. J.K. Bomfeh were blaming the police for not doing enough to ensure the safety of the delegates, but rather resorted of postponing the congress.

When the news about the postponement and relocation of the congress broke out, callers to a phone-in programme on ADAS FM radio, blamed the committee tasked to organize the election. They were also not happy that the congress had been taken to Techiman.

According to them, relocation of the congress to a neutral place meant that the new constituency was not capable of handling its own affairs.

When the radio contacted the district electoral officer, Mr. Frimpong, about the postponement, he said he was not informed about the changes, adding that on Friday the EC was at Jema but had to pack their ballot materials back to Kintampo following the decision to postpone it.

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