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26.04.2005 Politics

Vice Chair/Chair Disagree Over Asawase

By Ghanaian Chronicle

THE 1st National Vice Chairman of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Stephen Ntim, has dismissed the assertions made by the party chairman, Mr. Harona Esseku, that the party lost the Asawase bye-election because the party's campaign strategies failed to click.

"How come that our campaign did not click? I don't agree with that assertion. I beg to differ from that because we did all we could.

I would agree with that if we had lost in our strongholds, but Asawase is not our stronghold, we went there as underdogs and we did our best," he asserted.

Mr. Esseku had told JOY FM radio in an interview, before a press conference at which the party attacked the media and the police by accusing them of conspiring with the NDC, that their defeat was due to the failure of the campaign strategies to click as one of the factors when he spoke with the Joy F.M, but his vice disclaimed it.

According to Mr. Ntim the full force of the NPP leadership was present during the bye-election to wrest the seat from the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

He observed that the NDC did not only win the seat on the basis of sympathy, but also on the propaganda strategies of the NDC.

The party vice chairman alleged that on the day of the election, the NDC caused mayhem in the NPP strongholds in the constituency, which deterred the supporters from coming out to vote for their candidate.

"The NDC resorted to propaganda tactics by creating the impression that there were chaos and violence in the constituency which was reported by all the media houses. Residents were scared and that accounted for the reduction in our votes," he reiterated.

Speaking to The Chronicle yesterday after the bye-election saga, Mr. Ntim said it was totally untenable and wrong for the NDC to claim that they won because the NPP is sinking due to economic hardships imposed on the nation.

"We have all experienced reduction in our votes. If the people have voted against us, as they claimed, they (NDC) would have increased their votes. We are not sinking, we are growing stronger to stronger."

According to him, against tribal card played by the NDC, "we have gone there with full force knowing that we were underdogs and the constituency is predominantly NDC. What would have happened if bye-elections were held in Bantama or Manhyia and the NPP won? Would they say that the NPP is sinking? In fact, the premise of their argument was very wrong," he contended.

When asked whether the party lost due to complacency, the vice chairman had this to say, "To some extent, I think so, but I don't believe that we are complacent. Again to some extent there maybe complacency because if you won two elections and the next one, there was no second round, if one is not careful, complacency would fall in and so we need to sit up, buck up and even look at winning seats that are predominantly NDC strongholds."

He continued, "We should not relax, we need to forge ahead. Instead of throwing the towel that it is NDC stronghold, we have to look at the party structures again. We need to overhaul the party leadership at all levels so that new vision and ideas are injected into the party which would go to the better the fortunes of the party."

He dismissed the assertions that the NDC won due to the vigilance of the polling agents of the party.

"This is incredible. If that is what one should go by, does it means that we chose to rig the elections? It is basically and fundamentally wrong for anybody to say that. The vigilance of all the political party leaders go to prove that people are discerning and would vote on issues."

On the assertions of the NDC that the current government has imposed hardship on Ghanaians, resulting in the "Wahala" demonstrations, Mr. Ntim, thought otherwise and stated that the NPP is concerned about the plight of the citizenry.

"The NPP is concerned about the ordinary citizenry. All the policies of the government are geared towards the better future of the ordinary person.: He said the government had to take these economic measures today for the future benefit of their children, adding that a government that does not hold the bull by the horns is not a caring government because it does not care about the future but only about how to win elections.

"We care and we are ready to take the bull by the horns now for the sake of the future of our," he concluded.

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