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20.04.2005 NDC News

NDC, JJ Rally Boost Asawase Chances

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Kumasi -- THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC), yesterday held a mammoth rally attended by a large crowd of supporters at Asokore-Mampong in the Asawase constituency in Kumasi to round off a month of campaigning in readiness for the Asawase bye-election tomorrow.

In a clear message, the NDC and its followers announced to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that Asawase was a 'no go area" for them, and that they had better stayed clear.

Former President Rawlings, who graced the occasion, reminded the electorate on the need to cast their votes for the party's candidate, Alhaji Muntaka Mubarak, who he described as a principled man.

He condemned the alleged tribal politics of the NPP, declaring that the NDC was above tribal politics. He stressed that the NDC is not and would never be a party for Moslems and non-Ashantis alone.

According to Mr. Rawlings, the NDC lost support when the NPP began its politics of lies and cautioned members to avoid the trappings of the NPP.

The former president assured Kumasi constituents that he was waiting very much for the 'Wahala' march and drummed home the message of economic hardships imposed on Ghanaians by the NPP administration.

He drew also the attention of the people to the intimidation of NDC members by the use of soldiers and referred to Defence Minister Addo Kufuor as a tool being used by the NPP to achieve a set goal to rig the elections.

He advised the party to embark on a membership drive in preparation for the general elections in 2008, while holding onto the dedicated leadership of the party to consolidate the gains of the party.

Earlier on, Rawlings had visited the Central Mosque and interacted with opinion leaders of the Moslem community and Moslem groups like the Al-Sunna and Tijaniyya.

When he took his turn to address the rally, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Member of Parliament for Asutifi South, described President Kufuor as "Nipa hunu" (useless person), for his inability to turn the economy around.

Dauda said he had rather contributed to the collapse of the few employment opportunities that existed before he took over the reigns of government, instead of providing jobs.

MP Dauda said had President Kufuor been an Ashanti chief, he would have long been destooled long ago by the Asantehene for incompetence and inefficiency, to avoid disgrace.

Minority leader, Alban Bagbin said deceitful as the NPP was, the Asawase seat would forever elude them. He therefore advised the NDC supporters not to be intimidated but be vigilant to ensure that the election is not rigged.

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