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05.08.2005 Politics

Electorate shows apathy in Unit Committee Elections

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Tamale, August 5, GNA - There is public apathy towards the Unit Committee elections schedule for August 11, in the Tamale and Yendi Districts. Many people are not interested in the elections because they feel that being a Unit Committee Member carries no incentives and serving in that capacity is "a waste of time." Some electorate the GNA interviewed called on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to take a second look at the elections at the Unit Committee level. Others were of the opinion that the Unit Committee system be either scrapped or fine-tuned to encourage people to participate in the elections. Figures received from the Northern Regional Electoral Office showed that 420 electorate, 18 of them women, had filed their papers to contest in 26 out of the 57 Unit Committee Areas in the Yendi District. In the Tamale Metropolis only five out of the 93 Unit Committee Areas are being contested. Mr. Isaac Asomaning, the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, explained that areas where the number of Unit Committee Members were either 10 or below were considered unopposed. In a related development, the Northern Regional Women's Organiser of the NPP, Hajia Fati Abukari, has bemoaned the lack of interest of women in active politics. She said for instance, out of the 142 candidates who had filed their papers to contest the District Assembly Elections in the 54 electoral areas in the Tamale Metropolis, only three were women while all the 109 candidates who would be contesting the elections in the 42 electoral areas in Yendi were men. Hajia Abukari urged men to encourage their wives to participate in active politics, saying, "Women in the region should take inspiration from Madam Rita Tani Iddi, who started her political career as an Assembly Member, becoming a District Chief Executive and now a Deputy Minister".

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