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05.09.2004 NPP News

NPP Gives Free Slots to Independent Candidates ....

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...Serving the Government. Three independent candidates in Parliament who are holding positions in government will contest on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party in the December parliamentary election.

This follows the party's decision not to elect candidates from the party to contest those seats.

The three constituencies are the Akan constituency occupied by the minister of state at the ministry of education, youth and sports, Rashid Bawa; the Salaga constituency occupied by the deputy minister of Tourism and the Modernization of the Capital City, Boniface Saddique; and the Garu Timpani seat by the deputy minister of Defence, Joseph Akudibilla.

National Chairman of the party, Haruna Esseku, told JoyNews that the party has accepted the three to file their nominations as NPP candidates when the electoral commission opens the filing of nominations for parliamentary candidates between the 14 and 15 of this month.

This means the party will not hold primaries in those constituencies contrary to the party's principles in other constituencies.

Observers say the three independent MPs have a brighter chance of winning their seats back if they contest on the ticket of the NPP.

But the party's decision may spark off agitations in some of the affected constituencies especially in the Salaga constituency where a section of the party's members have protested any action to impose candidates.

The District Chief Executive of Salaga is on record for mobilizing some supporters of the party to protest the party's continuous delay in opening nominations in the constituency.

However, Minister of state at the education, youth and sports ministry, Rashid Bawa faces the stiffest opposition from the NDC.

He won that seat in the 2000 elections from protest votes against the ruling NDC.

But his association with the NPP government, which is not popular in the Volta region, may cost him the seat.

But observer say Alhaji Bawa is well known in the area and very much liked so he will brave the storm.

The NPP has also made other concessions for other candidates from other parties who are considered as friends of the NPP.

The party is already not fielding a candidate in the Komenda Edina Eguafo Abirem (KEEA) Constituency after President Kufuor endorsed the candidature of Energy Minister, Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom who is contesting on the ticket of the Convention People's Party (CPP).

Deputy Minister of Health, Moses Daniba has been given a pass to contest in his Sisala seat without a challenge from the NPP camp.

First Deputy Speaker, Freddie Blay will contest his Ellembelle seat for the second time without a contest from the NPP camp.

Observers say more of such concessions may come to give free access to seats for moderates of other parties who are considered friends of the NPP administration.

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