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13.12.2004 Politics

Eastern Region second in returning Kufuor to power

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Koforidua, Dec. 13, GNA - With a total votes of 554,933 for President John Agyekum Kufuor, in the Eastern Region, reflecting 60.27 per cent, the region had maintained its third position, after the Ashanti and Greater Accra Regions, as one of the strongholds of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) similar to the 2000 elections, when it gave then candidate J. A. Kufuor 409,635 votes.

The region also gave the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, Prof. J.E.A. Mills 353,356 votes, followed by 6,851 for Mr George Aggudey of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and 5,532 votes to Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama of the People's National Convention (PNC) in the December 7 general elections.

With a total voter registration of 1,142,390 and 939,607 voters this year, as against 1,187,573 voters in 2000 out of whom 758,602 cast their votes, the Eastern Region also is regarded as the third populous region, and therefore one of the prominent "political king makers" in Ghana.

The just-ended elections saw the electorate giving their mandate to 22 NPP candidates against six of the NDC, among whom nine are Parliamentary "green hounds", two of whom defeated NDC incumbents while two came from newly-created constituencies - Mr Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, Abuakwa North and Mr David Oppong-Kusi, Ofoase-Ayirebi.

The rest are Mad. Esther Obeng Dapaah, (the only woman MP for the region) NPP New Abirem, Mr James Appietu-Ankrah, NPP Lowest West Akim, Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, NPP Asuogyaman, Mr Kwadwo Agyei-Addo, NPP Fanteakwa and Mr Raphael Kofo Ahaligah, NDC Afram Plains South, Mr William Ofori Boafo, NPP Akropong, and Mr Magnus Opare-Asamoah, NPP Nsawam/Aburi.

Of the 28 MPs, only two of them, Mr. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, NDC Upper West Akim and Michael Teye Nyaunu, NDC Lower Manya, are going back to Parliament for the fourth time since the inception of the Fourth Republican dispensation in 1993. This was due to the boycott of the parliamentary election by the NPP and some opposition parties in 1992 over their dissatisfaction about the earlier Presidential elections conducted by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Nine of them are entering the House for the third time with four of them going for the second time.

The most spectacular incumbent lost in the elections, perhaps, was the Fanteakwa MP, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, also the National Organiser of the NDC, who had tasted two electoral victories in the 1996 and 2000 elections.

His defeat, according to NDC sources, was blamed on two pre-election developments, the party complained about. The first was alleged inducement of many Krobo settler farmers in the constituency, who formed their base supporters, to go and register in the nearby Upper Manya constituency by the NPP candidate for the area, Mr Gustav Narh Dometey, Eastern Regional Deputy Minister.

Their other attribution was alleged premeditated attack on a group of 22 students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) brought down as polling agents on the eve of the election, while residing at the Bunso Cocoa College.

They pointed accusing fingers at leading NPP executive members at Begoro, who allegedly led three pick-ups full of "machomen" to launch the assault to ostensibly prevent them from performing their intended duties.

Except that incident, the elections in the region had been generally free, fair and transparent.

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