11.03.2005 NPP News

NPP Confident Of Asawase Win

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The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has vowed to continue its streak of by-elections victories by wresting the Asawase seat from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The Electoral Commission has fixed the 21of April for by-election in the constituency following the death of the NDC's Dr Adamu Gibril.

The NPP opened nominations on Thursday for prospective candidates for the seat.

According to the party's Chairman Haruna Esseku all the preparatory work needed to win the seat have been completed?

Nomination will close on Sunday after which a substantive candidate will be elected either via popular acclamation or through primaries.

Quizzed if the NPP was adopting a strategy to win the seat after failing to win the Asawase seat in December, he said the first bye-election in Bimbilla had a division of 14,500 votes, Ibin Chambas had beaten us with 14,000 votes but we managed to take the seat and we have decided that we would work hard to win it.

He said, the key to winning the seat was to get the right candidate such as somebody who apart from being a committed member of the party must be a known person in the constituency.

He said Asawase, which is predominantly a settler area, needs a candidate with good rapport and preferably must be a male Muslim.

Asked why not a female Muslim, he replied that in the muslin religion, “we always prefer our men to be in the lime light in the sense that they shouldn't have the opportunity to always shaking hands with men. If you pick a women in the campaign, the woman must be going round shaking hands with men and we don't consider it good for a Muslim woman.”

He admitted that choosing Patricia Appiah Adjei made the party lost the seat with hindsight because she was not the right candidate, stressing “ I took part in selecting her but taking every thing into consideration after five applicants, she stood tall among the rest at that time…”

He explained that the phenomena where people are saying that the NPP has exploited its incumbency was neither here nor there but that the NDC had 94 seats and we had 128, so incumbency per se is not the sole thing for one to win.

Reacting to the assertion that the NPP had become unpopular especially with the recent fuel price increases, he said the fuel prices increases had rather made the party more popular and the issue would be rebuffed stressing “ As far as I am concerned the 'Wahala' demonstration has given us more confidence and I believe it would translate into our performance at Asawase.”

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