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16.12.2004 NDC News

NDC did not lose in Eastern Region on fair grounds

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Koforidua, Dec. 16, GNA - The Eastern Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Anthony Gyampoh has observed that based on reports from the party's branches, the NDC did not lose the elections in Eastern Region on fair grounds.

According to him, "there were too many intimidations and harassments of the members of the party and the electoral officials" in the constituencies before and during the election and alleged over-exploitation of the incumbency.

Mr Gyampoh, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Koforidua on the performance of the NDC in last week's election in the region, regretted that the party lost two of the eight constituencies it won in the 2000 elections, Asuogyaman and Fanteakwa. He said, while every party in power invariably was inclined to take advantage of its incumbency during elections, he however stated that, "if the incumbency is exploited beyond certain limits, then it creates unfairness to the minority parties."

Mr Gyampoh accused the NPP for implementing policies, which made the people poorer and therefore vulnerable to financial influence, adding that, the situation was exploited to the full, especially by the payment of unexplained financial rewards to public servants on the eve of the elections."

He cited alleged attacks on NDC parliamentary candidate for Fanteakwa, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and some polling agents of the party on the eve of the elections, which he said, made it impossible for the party to deploy the agents and also for the candidate to effectively observe the polls in his constituency.

Mr Gyampoh said in the Akim Swedru constituency, intimidations made it impossible for the parliamentary candidate, Mr Baafour Takyi to visit the polling stations on the day of the election.

He said at Kibi, the Abuakwa South constituency office of the NDC was vandalized and eight activists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) burnt down documents and furniture.

Mr Gyampoh said the party reported the incident to the police and identified those involved but only three had been arrested, while the remaining five were walking free in town.

He said at Akote in the Suhum constituency, a group of men went and threatened the presiding officer and the electoral officials at one of the polling stations that, if they valued their lives, they should ensure that NDC did not win at that polling station.

He said in the Asuogyaman constituency, before the elections started, two activists of the NDC were brutally assaulted by NPP activists and the MP-elect, Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw sent the victims to the Police Station and requested that they be locked up and not bailed until he consented to it.

Mr Gyampoh alleged that after the elections, the house of a leading member of the party in Asuogyaman, Capt. (rtd) Vodi, was attacked by a group of NPP youth allegedly driven there by Mr Osei-Ameyaw.

He said despite all the intimidations and harassments, the people voted for the candidate of the NDC and incumbent MP, Mr Dwamena Bekoe, yet the results were manipulated to declare Mr Osei-Ameyaw, the winner.

Mr Gyampoh said the party would stand solidly behind all its candidates, who have genuine cases but were been cheated and to use all the legal means available to it to seek justice.

He used the opportunity to thank all those, who stood solidly behind the party during the elections and assured them that the "NDC is not a losing party and would re-organise more stronger than it had done before to recapture power in the next elections."

Mr Gyampoh expressed the hope that the second term of office of the NPP government would see an end to the "victimization and vindictiveness that had characterized the first four years when public servants were made to proceed on indefinite leave as a result of their perceived affiliation to the NDC."

He observed that, it was time that the President-elect be seen in all aspects "as the President of the Republic of Ghana and father of the nation and not President of the political party on whose ticket the Presidency was won and for that matter, only contractors and business houses that associate with the ruling party could be in business."

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