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28.08.2004 Politics

I'm contesting Tema East seat as independent candidate - Antwi-Nuamah

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Tema New Town, Aug 28, GNA - Mr Albert Antwi-Nuamah, defeated contestant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) primaries in the Tema East Constituency, on Saturday declared his intention to contest the seat as an independent candidate.

Mr Antwi-Nuamah, a 41-year old private businessman, lost the party's primaries on Saturday, July 3, when he polled 85 votes as against 95 by his rival, Mrs Emelia Adjei, a teacher. Making his intention known at a press conference at Tema New Town, Mr Antwi-Nuamah said the move had become necessary because "the support base for an Independent Candidature is very massive and continually increases daily."

He stated that the decision to go solo was carefully arrived at in consultation and with the collaboration of about 65 out of the 81 branch chairmen of the NDC, opinion leaders, youth groups, women's groups, and various societies in the constituency.

Mr Antwi-Nuamah alleged that the constituency's primaries, which he lost last month, was characterised with various electoral irregularities, malpractices, vote-buying and "the perpetuating of a tribal agenda."

Asked whether in taking this stance, he still considered himself as a member of the NDC, Mr Antwi-Nuamah replied in the affirmative and explained that the party's constitution could only expel a defeated contestant during and at a Delegates Congress.

Outlining his vision for the constituency if he won the seat, Mr Antwi-Nuamah catalogued education, sanitation, business, the fishing industry, corruption, workers' rights and sports, as some of his priority areas.

Mr Sampson Ahoto, member of the campaign team of the independent aspirant, said his choice "is a damage control mechanism to prevent the New Patriotic Party candidate from winning the seat for the third time.