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26.10.2004 NPP News

NPP scribe speaks on elections

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Sunyani (B/A), Oct. 26, GNA - Mr Dan Botwe, General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has predicted that the Party was not going to lose a single vote in all the constituencies it won during Election 2000.

"If anything, NPP is rather going to increase its votes in such areas to win an eventual landslide in this year's December 7 elections," he stressed.

Mr Botwe made the remarks when he met representatives of the media in Brong Ahafo Region at the NPP Office in Sunyani on Monday. The meeting was designed by the Regional Secretariat to enable the Party Secretary, whom they affectionately referred to as "General Botwe" to brief the media on his interaction with Constituency Chairmen, Secretaries, and Parliamentary Candidates among others to set out effective programmes to guide the Party in the forthcoming elections. General Botwe announced that unlike some years back when the work of a polling station officer was a voluntary one, the position of polling station officer had now become a permanent structure in NPP Constitution.

The functions of polling station officers, General Botwe said, would include a house-to-house campaign at their operational or catchment areas and ensuring a clean Voters' Register.

General Botwe said the measure if effectively implemented would not only enable the Party to cover every blade in the various polling stations during its campaign programmes but also make such campaigns cost effective since the polling station executives would be grouped separately to man polling stations.

He further announced that there were 2,384 polling stations in Brong-Ahafo Region, adding that as part of a national exercise being tackled by the Party, well-trained polling station officers would represent the Party at all the 21,000 polling stations throughout the country during the December elections.

"Polling Station Executives are the bedrock of NPP campaign team," he said adding that a special training for polling agents would start at the end of November.

Reacting to a question, General Botwe said NPP, as an incumbent would not manipulate the state facilities for its campaign programmes. "We are going to abide by the Political Parties Code of Conduct, including the drill that party officials must use party vehicles."

On the question as whether President John Agyekum Kufuor's statement not to personally extend his electioneering campaign to Yendi would not affect NPP in terms of votes, General Botwe said the statement by the President did not mean NPP would not campaign at Yendi but that he would not go there personally to campaign.

General Botwe noted that NPP had a Parliamentary Candidate in Yendi for the election, saying, "Yendi forms part of our campaign areas and by all means NPP campaign team would cover the area".

On the new arrangement by the Electoral Commission (EC) regarding positions of political parties on ballot papers for the December election, General Botwe noted that the change of the Party's old position from "Asieho" (down there) to its present position would not in any way be a problem for members, supporters and sympathizers of the NPP in term of voting.

He explained that "since the December 2000 election that ushered NPP into power, there had been seven bye-elections in the country and in most cases the ballot papers placed NPP at the top position instead of the popular 'Asieho' place yet our party won all".

He cited the Asankranoguaa Bye-Election where NPP was positioned in the middle among other contestants and as usual NPP won.

"So far as we are concerned we are not bothered at all about where the balloting of positions had placed our Party on the ballot paper," he said.

He expressed the confidence that the Party's newly-adopted two victory signs made publicly known during the launching of its campaign had come to replace "Asieho" and would do the trick.

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